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2017 Grocerant Hot Trend #2: Sweet on Sorghum


Quinoa has definitely had more than its 15 minutes in the spotlight, so what’s the next “it” grain most likely to sprout up on menus? Trend predictors don’t agree, but the good news is there are plenty of lesser-known grains to add to the mix, including promising “newcomer” sorghum, a 4,000-year-old gluten-free favorite.

In fact, the experts at the James Beard Foundation have gone on record to declare sorghum as the new quinoa. One advantage for sorghum: It’s already known as an old-fashioned sweetener, and it’s back in vogue among foodies who are intrigued by sorghum-glazed meats and vegetables.

Less well-known is that sorghum is actually a grain that can be cooked like rice or barley. The Beard Foundation reports that in grain form, “[sorghum] resembles Israeli couscous, but with a little dot on each orb. It is chewier than Israeli couscous, but satisfying to eat—and slightly sweet.”

When it’s finely milled, sorghum can also be used for rustic desserts and baking applications. Experts at the Beard Foundation “wager that it’ll become the new gluten-free, ancient grain of the moment.”

Grocerant-Ready Ideas:

  • Modern, nutritious porridge made with a sorghum, farro and oat mix
  • Promotions that highlight sorghum as gluten-free
  • Puffed and popped grains to bring new shine to corn and rice
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