Agave is a sweetener derived from the maguey plant best known as the base for tequila and mezcal.
Although those spirits are growing in popularity in the United States, agave is trending on menus as a replacement for cane sugar. It has a lower glycemic index and is seen by some consumers as more healthful than cane sugar. Unlike cane sugar, which can be processed by using bone char, agave is completely vegan.
It’s used similarly to honey or simple syrup, often in salad dressings and cocktails.
This Flavor of the Week can be found on more than 15% of menus in American restaurants after a more than 50% rise in occurrence in the past four years.
Learn more about agave by clicking through the Flavor of the Week slideshow.
(Agave field photo by Danny Lehman/The Image Bank/Getty Images)