Food trends come and go. Some which are started in metro cities like San Fran­cisco and New York may com­pletely skip over the entire mid­dle sec­tion of the nation.

One trend look­ing to accel­er­ate this year is the seduc­tion of sour. Adding a punch of sour can bal­ance rich or savory dishes.

Global cuisines heav­ily influ­ence our own restau­rant offer­ings and choices. Take a page from Per­sian, Korean, Fil­ipino or even Ger­man menus to inspire new twists on fla­vor pair­ings.

Sour tast­ing foods are indica­tive of higher acid­ity, along with tart­ness or tangi­ness. Bit­ter foods are mostly attrib­uted to unpleas­ant, sharp and some­times unde­sir­able foods. Sour cov­ers pop­u­lar Greek yogurts, kim chees, sour krauts and other fer­men­ta­tions.

Sour fla­vors have piqued our col­lec­tive inter­est, on par with the spicy food addic­tion. Con­sumer demand toward tangy fla­vors has more to do with a move­ment toward well­ness, arti­sanal foods, and eth­nic cuisines.

From pick­les to sauces, there is bet­ter bal­ance to the plate with an infu­sion or in– cor­po­ra­tion of select sour pro­duce ingre­di­ents. Craft cock­tails and beers are heav­ily favor­ing sour power ele­ments.

Look to sour oranges, grape­fruits, kumquats, fresh and dried limes, tamarind, kiwifruits, cran­ber­ries and pome­gran­ates for more pucker power.

An old school sour source, rhubarb is wak­ing up taste buds. Shrubs and desserts ben­e­fit from both the vibrant color and dis­tinct tart– ness of this herba­ceous peren­nial. This celery-​looking stalk is ideal for pair­ing up with berries, apples, pears, beets and nuts like pis­ta­chios. Spring is peak rhubarb sea­son.

A pod-​like fruit that grows mainly in trop­i­cal cli­mates, tamarind has a trade­mark tart fla­vor. It has long been a sta­ple in Indian, Latin Amer­i­can and South­east Asian cook­ing. Chefs and cooks in the United States are catch­ing on to the edgy fla­vor that tamarind provides.

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