A burger and fries. Coffee and doughnuts. Milk and ... curry spice? If you haven't tried it yet, you're missing out on what Saba Imtiaz at the Guardian calls "2016's drink of choice." Cafes from San Francisco to Sydney are selling their own version of the traditional drink from the Indian subcontinent, known as haldi doodh: a combination of milk and turmeric. Yes, that turmeric, the yellow Indian spice usually found in curries. Haldi doodh has long been a staple in India for its purported health benefits—proponents say it's good for everything from depression to cancer—but the drink is now taking hold in the West. It's typically made with juiced turmeric root, almond, cashew, or soymilk, and dubbed a turmeric latte or "golden milk."
One telltale sign of the rising popularity: Google searches for turmeric jumped 56% from November to January, while searches since 2011 have climbed 300%, Quartz reports via the 2016 Food Trends Report. Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop even offers up a recipe including ginger and turmeric, both of which "have incredible anti-inflammatory properties." There are claims that turmeric also whitens teeth and fights acne, among many other things, notes a post on the "hipster trend" at India.com, which also recalls the chore of drinking the stuff as kids. Indeed, turmeric and milk might sound odd, but the modern version "is creamy, with the comforting quality of a warm, yet slightly sweet, soup," writes Imtiaz. It tastes "surprisingly pleasant." (Turmeric could also prevent E. coli outbreaks.)