What is horchata flavor?

A variety of horchata-inspired food products are found in the U.S. market today. Learn more about this unique flavor.

Horchata-flavored icecream. Photo credit: Calder Dairy & Farm

Horchata-flavored icecream. Photo credit: Calder Dairy & Farm

The smooth, creamy cinnamon taste of Mexico’s cold milky beverage can now be found in a variety of food products.  Typically made from rice, grains or nut milks, horchata is a favorite beverage in Mexican restaurants. In addition to cinnamon, vanilla is a common ingredient.

Old World horchata hails from Spain and is derived from the tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus sativus), an underground structure, or tuber, which is closely related to the weed yellow nutsedge.

A recent search of Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) reveals an array of North American horchata-flavored beverages ranging from plant-based to dairy. There are non-alcoholic coconut, coffee, fruit, tea-flavored and energy drink hortchata beverages.  Mintel also documents beers, ales, stouts and rum or vodka liqueurs in the alcohol category.

Horchata can also be found in foods such as candy, pudding, ice cream and yogurt. Michigan-based Calder Dairy has been producing a horchata-flavored ice cream for more than a decade. The flavor was developed in response to wholesale vendors serving the local Hispanic customer base. Their horchata ice cream sells well at retail stores, ice cream parlors and the Calder Dairy Farm in Carleton.

For information on marketing, managing or starting a food, agriculture, bio economy and natural resources business, contact the Michigan State University Product Center or 517-432-8750. Michigan State University Extension Innovation Counselors are available statewide for free business counseling.

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