Speculoos — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

By: Miriam Garron
What’s the next best thing you never ate?

The Food Network Kitchens staff might know. We see (taste and smell) ingredients and products just before they take their place in the national palate. Sometimes one of our on-air chefs brings them into our kitchen, sometimes we find them during restaurant dinners or in grocery stores, at home and away. Each month we’re going to share one with you, along with tips or recipes. And we know that many of you devote a good amount of time to exploring, tasting or just getting dinner on the table, so let us know what you find that might just be the next best thing we never ate.

We Spy Speculoos

Peanut butter without nuts. Nutella without chocolate. While the first speculoos ad campaign might take the usual route of extolling what it’s almost like, we love it for what it is: an unctuous spread, tasting of toast and cinnamon and caramel, made by grinding its namesake Belgian cookie with oil.

We first tasted speculoos on the ( Throwdown-winning) Liège waffles served by NYC’s Wafels and Dinges truck. Since then, we’ve added it to milkshakes and buttercream, and we’re experimenting with it as an ingredient in cake batters and cookie doughs. We’ll keep you posted on our results. And we’re not the only ones smitten: The chain bakery across the street from Food Network Kitchens now jars its own version, and we hear that a recent episode of Law & Order made reference to it. So the word (pronounced "spek-oo-loose") is starting to — pardon us — spread.

What do you think Food Network Kitchens should try next? Tell us in the comments.

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