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Flavor of the Month

Flavor of the Month: Chicory adds premium touch to food and drink

The versatile plant can be used for everything from coffee to salads

From leaves that appear in salads to dried roots acting as a coffee extender, chicory is a multi-use plant where nothing gets wasted. Its presence on menus continues to grow as coffee shops use the dried and ground root to add distinctive flavor to coffee — a custom popular in New Orleans and now spreading across the country — or in syrups for a departure from traditional flavors. Although once used as a cheap flavor-enhancer for coffee — or as a necessary substitute during times when coffee was scarce — it’s now regarded as a premium ingredient in coffee as well as salads, where frisée and endive, which are both types of chicory, add color, texture and agreeable bitterness. It has grown in menu mentions in the United States by 72% over the past four years.

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