The combination of herbaceous cilantro and bright lime makes a great addition to rice, which is where it’s most commonly found thanks to Chipotle Mexican Grill, which got the ball rolling in the United States with this flavor combination. Although still mostly found in Latin American-inspired dishes, the pairing can make a flavorful base for a sauce that could be used to dress a wide variety of entrées and salads, regardless of the cuisine.
Cilantro-lime is just another one of those flavors that’s increasing in popularity in line with consumers’ — particularly younger ones — growing appetite for Latin foods, from birria to queso fresco.
Market research firm Datassential reports that cilantro-lime is found on 4.7% of U.S. menus and has increased by 16% over the past four years.
Click through the gallery to learn more about this Flavor of the Week and see how one restaurant is using cilantro-lime on its menu.