When it comes to holiday flavors, you can't go wrong with the classics: gingerbread, peppermint, cinnamon, pumpkin. But this year, based on what we've been seeing in the food space, it would appear that two flavors are going to reign supreme: cranberry and orange paired together.
We were first alerted to this holiday trend when Krispy Kreme released its Thanksgiving donuts, one of which is a cranberry orange treat. Then, we came across one of Trader Joe's new seasonal releases: Cranberry Orange Bars featuring a shortbread topped with a cranberry and sweetened orange peel curd. According to The Fast Food Post, Dunkin' is also releasing a cranberry orange muffin soon.
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Of course, it's no secret that tart cranberries pair beautifully with sweet, citrusy orange during the holiday season. That would explain why many cranberry sauce recipes include the addition of orange juice or orange zest. And in cocktails flavored with cranberry, you will often find an orange element that helps bring the taste to the next level.
Along with trying the cranberry orange treats available for purchase at your favorite grocery stores and eateries, you can also experiment with using the flavor combo at home. King Arthur Baking, for instance, has a cranberry orange scones recipe, while Grandbaby Cakes has information on how to bake a cranberry orange pound cake and whip up a batch of cranberry orange Chex Mix.
Plus, cranberry and orange can easily work in savory dishes like The Cookie Rookie's orange cranberry pork loin roast or Sweet & Savory Meals' cranberry orange chicken. In other words, this flavor pairing is truly versatile, meaning that you can experiment with it for yourself in different bakes, meals, and drinks.
There's just something about cranberry and orange that makes for a delicious celebration, so we're happy to see this combination trending for the 2021 holiday season.