Nigella Lawson says this is the next big food trend you need to know about

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Nicola Rachel Colyer
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From artfully displayed brunch to nutrient-packed brownies and even chocolate bars (not to mention those lattes), the avocado is undoubtedly the food of the millennial generation (for better or worse, depending on your point of view).

So you can imagine our surprise when we heard Nigella Lawson declare there’s a new food trend in town.

According to Lawson, the sweet leaf pandan will soon be taking over our Instagram feeds.

And seeing as she is the women reportedly responsible for a 30% increase in the sale of avocados when she introduced viewers to her recipe for avocado toast, she knows what she’s talking about. 

Pandad leaf food trend 2017 2018 Nigella Lawson
Pandan leaf - the next big thing in food?

While relatively rare over here, pandan is a popular flavouring dubbed the vanilla of South-East Asia. Website describes pandan (also known as screw pine) as being “floral like vanilla but with a grassy lilt and a tropical bouquet that verges on coconut”.

To be fair, avocado is probably safe as pandan’s use doesn’t cross over too much – it is usually found as a flavour in deserts and drinks, but it is also used to infuse rice and other savoury dishes, while the leaves can be used to wrap food. 

However it may stray onto the patch of another millennial favourite; Lawson hailed pandan as “the new matcha” when speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival on Sunday (15 October), The Times reports.

Acknowledging that pandan isn’t yet hugely popular in the UK, Lawson noted that it has been on the rise in the USA for some time.

“It’s not in Waitrose. I don’t know where it is in this country yet,” she remarked. “But I notice more and more people in America baking with pandan essence. Which comes from that leaf.”

While it might not be on the aisles of your local supermarket at the moment, you can get your hands on a variety of pandan-flavoured delicacies around London.

A trip to China Town, for instance, could see you stocking up on mochi and bread from Wonderful Patisserie and The Golden Gate Cake Shop.

While a stroll around Putney market will give you an opportunity to taste some Pandan cake from the folks at Pandan Bakery.

If you fancy getting ahead of the curve with your own baking, most Asian supermarkets stock pandan in the frozen aisle, or you can order it online here

Images: iStock / Snap by Three