Opinion: The Turmeric Latte – Haldi Goes Mainstream

In the never-ending race to stay “on fleek”, largely due to millennials’ changing tastes (read social media fascination) Starbucks has come out with the drink to end all drinks – the Turmeric Latte – and no, we are not making this up. Touted as a ‘golden twist to coffee’ it’s made by steaming milk with aromatic turmeric powder and spices and poured over espresso.

Google’s Food Trends report recently named turmeric – as a ‘breakout ingredient’. Of course, they conveniently forgot that we’ve been using Haldi (turmeric, for all the white people) for centuries. From sterilizing newly built houses to healing the common cold, Indians have utilized every single facet that turmeric offers.

When turmeric is classified as a ‘breakout ingredient’ what’s really being said is that first world countries have finally discovered it. Nevermind the billion people that already use it on the regs. Starbucks really is the poster child of Caucasian tastes, so when they introduce a Turmeric Latte to their menu, it’s safe to say that Haldi has finally gone mainstream.

So, why this sudden spike in interest over turmeric? It turns out, that Turmeric Lattes have been around for at least a year (searches for the spice spiked in 2015 so, naturally the latte followed). The Guardian did some serious research last year and did give credit to its Indian origins (perhaps because the author was Pakistani).

While the Turmeric Latte had been gaining popularity online in the form of recipes I don’t think anyone suspected it would be picked up by Starbucks. I think it’s safe to say that although it may be popular in the UK when it launches next month, you won’t see many of us from the subcontinent queuing up to try the ‘exotic’ (obligatory word used to describe anything south of Europe) latte.

The ‘newly-discovered’ Turmeric Latte reminds us too much of sickness, and the ‘promise’ of fairer skin. Also, Ma will make it for us at home and it won’t cost a penny (unless listening to her two cents of wisdom counts).

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