Kusshi oysters: These small but deep-shelled and meaty oysters from British Columbia are nudging Kumamotos aside.
Pawpaw: Pastry chef Anthony Chavez of 2941 is a fan of this soft, tropical-scented fruit.
Lemon balm: Its aromatic leaves, used as a medicinal soother for centuries, are now accenting cocktails.
Lola duck: A lean, intensely flavored designer fowl from New York’s Hudson Valley—a cross between a white Pekin duck and a mallard.
Bush basil: Tiny and spicier than the common sweet basil, this herb is showing up in more than just pesto.
Kindai tuna: Prized bluefin tuna has all but disappeared from menus because of overharvesting, but a Japanese lab is raising this fish in a sustainable way.
Castelvetrano olives: Mild green olives from Sicily, ideal for a warm bar snack.
Mangalista pork: These curly-haired Hungarian pigs, beloved for their heavily marbled meat, only recently came to the United States.
Argan oil: You’ll find this restorative Moroccan oil in hair salons but also in dishes such as lamb tartare and cauliflower couscous.
Rishiri kombu: The top-of-the-line Japanese kelp is heavy on umami, the earthy, savory taste known as the “fifth flavor.”
This article first appeared in the October 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.