Mexico's Chamoy Sauce Could Become 2014's Food Trend of the Year

Ten years ago, you might not have known what chipotle was, but practically every casual eatery in town now serves chipotle mayo or some item featuring the flavor in one incarnation or another.

Chipotle -- made from ripe smoked jalapeño peppers -- made its way into American restaurants and grocery stores like a sexy foreign exchange student entering your home.

Soon, we might have to thank Mexico for yet another food trend: chamoy sauce.

Chamoy sauce is made from fruit pulp, usually apricot, and a mixture of lime, spices, and chiles. It is usually in the form of a paste, less often as a liquid.

Xuco, a Mexican-born singer who now lives in Miami, says he still dreams of the chamoy sauce he ate while growing up in Veracruz.

"It is sweet and a little bit sour at the same time, with some spicy taste that makes you want more," the singer says.

Every restaurant I visited on a recent trip to Quintana Roo and the Yucatán served chamoy sauce.

One of the oddest items I came across was an apple covered in chamoy sauce, served at a popular restaurant in the city of Tulum, on the Riviera Maya. Imagine all your taste buds becoming stimulated at once -- salty, sweet, even umami.

Xuco says, "Chamoy sauce can be mixed with chili powder, sugar, salt, and lime. It also tastes great with chips and is great with fruit! Also with corn or corn in a cup."

Mexicans also mix chamoy sauce with candy, especially Miguelitos, a popular Mexican sweet. Chamoy is commonly used as a dip.

I sometimes found the combination of bold flavors a bit overwhelming, but I'm curious to see if chamoy sauce does indeed become the next food trend as many are predicting. With Miami's penchant for combining bold Latin American flavors with American favorites and Caribbean exports, it will be fascinating to see where chamoy ends up as it becomes more widely available.

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