Is Horchata the New Dulce de Leche?


Perhaps it's too soon to announce a full-scale trend, but having recently seen horchata-flavored desserts at three different spots in San Francisco I figured a bit of acknowledgement is in order. I mean, if horchata becomes the next dulce de leche, dominating nationwide, wouldn't I feel a bit foolish not having mentioned it first? Right.

For those who think horchata is a Vampire Weekend song, let me set the record straight. Here in San Francisco, the horchata you're most likely to find—in taquerias, mostly— is the Mexican version, made from rice and milk with a hefty dose of cinnamon. Other versions are made from ground nuts (including the popular tiger nut version—horchata de chufas—which is the standard in Spain), sesame seeds and morro or jicaro seeds, but they usually contain milk, are frequently quite sweet, and often are flavored with both vanilla and cinnamon.

At Lafitte several weeks ago, one item on the limited dessert menu (only three items long) was a horchata bread pudding. At CAV, a dessert described as "Tres Leches" comes with a scoop of horchata sherbet. And one of the many varieties of cupcakes proffered by Mission Minis is none other than cinnamon horchata, the Mexican rice milk cake frosted with cream cheese frosting and dusted with ground cinnamon. Anyone have other horchata-based confections to report? Remember: If you see something, say something.

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