What's the Best New Ingredient You Discovered This Year?

Part of the thrill of cooking is discovery of new ingredients and foods you've never tried before, or that you didn't know existed. Every year I find something new to wake up my creativity — this year I was totally smitten by this smoked olive oil. Emily fell in love with this Georgian spice mix. What about you? Have you discovered something new to you this year that made your cooking more lively and fun?

We'd love to hear about it. Maybe it's something simple and widely available — your first crush on eggplant or sweet potato, for instance. Or maybe you discovered an exotic spice or ingredient in your travels, or something uniquely local to you.

Tell us what really woke up your palate this year and what's earned a place in your pantry!

Related: 10 Pantry Staples Not To Be Caught Without

(Images: Emily Ho; Faith Durand)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.