We’re so excited to finally launch Turmeric Lemon Myrtle Clusterbucks–it’s probably the most unique and DELIGHTFUL snack/granola ever. I’m really excited about how this came together! This was such a passion project that evolved through 8 months of discovery and has influences from around the world.
I seem to get inspired by lattes–the Matcha Lil Bucks came about thanks to enjoying too many Sawada lattes in Chicago. When thinking about our next Clusterbucks flavor, I couldn’t get Golden Milk Lattes out of my head. Back in September I had lunch with Alli Ball (food biz consultant) when I was in San Francisco, and told her about my inspiration for the next Clusterbucks flavor. She recommended trying this cool SF spice brand called Diaspora. This conversation changed everything!
Before even trying Diaspora’s turmeric, it was love at first sight. I was obsessed with the vibrant brand the founder Sana created, and felt it vibed with Lil Bucks straight away. Sana’s company is disrupting the Indian spice trade, decolonizing an outdated spice trading system, putting more money and equity into the actual spice farmers’ hands. The turmeric has been rated by the New York Times. Sana goes to India for months out of the year to directly source the turmeric and other spices. It was a no brainer to support this women and minority led business that was absolutely blowing me away!
Like I said, I was sold on Diaspora before I even tried the Turmeric, and ordered a couple wholesale bags from Sana immediately. I was pumped when the bags arrived. You pay a little more for this turmeric but it’s WORTH IT because you know this money is going to benefit the real creators of this spice, and it’s so strong. Sana warned me: their turmeric is so potent that we might only need to use half to 2/3 as much turmeric as our original recipe. She was right. Upon opening the bag, a gorgeous aroma fills the room. You can even see in the color, this turmeric is so vibrant and legit. Also *warning* it turns your tongue yellow. I love that. It’s so real.
I was having fun with my Turmeric love but felt the recipe needed more. I was having trouble re-creating the exact Golden Milk Latte experience I enjoy. I was trying to use coconut oil to add a little sweetness/softness to the Turmeric, but then the clusters would crumble. I was set on finding a sweet, delicate flavor to compliment the spicy power from the turmeric.
During this creative phase of the flavor development, I enjoyed a Lemon-Lavender-Berry Raw Bar from my girl Sydney at Ingrained Chicago, which is basically the epicenter of superfood flavor INSPIRATION! This gorgeous raw bar weirdly brought me back to a Lemon-Berry granola and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes from a brunch place in Sydney. Crazy how your senses can bring you back like that, but somehow this dug up some deep memories for me about Lemon Myrtle: Australians use this interesting ingredient to get a strong lemon flavor. I remembered seeing it on granola bags and on cafe menus.
LIGHTBULB MOMENT. I dove in to researching Lemon Myrtle and got extremely excited about the ingredient – it is only grown in Australia and is a strong extract from the Backhousia citriodora leaves. Lemon Myrtle actually tastes more “lemon-y” than lemons, containing over 90% citral. After some correspondence with the lovely team from Australian Superfoods, an Australian company cultivating native plants to support Australian indigenous communities, I decided I must use this ingredient somehow, and imported Lemon Myrtle directly from Australia to finalize this Clusterbucks recipe. The sweet citrus aromas perfectly compliment Diaspora’s spicy, potent Turmeric in the best way, offering Lil Bucks fans a sweet and savory experience with that sprouted buckwheat crunch they know and love!
So yeah, if you can’t tell, the development of this flavor was a journey and reflects some of my own flavor discovery from the past 8 months. I designed the packaging myself too, and am excited to share the mission of both Diaspora and Australian Superfoods Co. on the back of the packaging. Doing stuff like this is the MOST FUN part about being in this business, and I’m so excited to share it with you!!