McCormick & Company, Incorporated, a global leader in flavor, has unveiled its annual McCormick Flavor Forecast revealing the tantalizing trends that will shape culinary exploration and innovation at restaurants and on retail shelves across the globe for years to come.
Among the emerging trends is a spotlight on underexplored Southeast Asian fare – Malaysian and Filipino – and the evolution of our insatiable appetite for spicy. Also featured are pulses which serve as a protein-packed canvas for delicious flavors – fitting as the United Nations celebrates 2016 as the International Year of Pulses.
"Since its inception in 2000, Flavor Forecast has been tracking the growing interest in heat and identifying upcoming spicy flavors including chipotle, peri-peri and harissa," said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. "Our latest report shows the next wave of this trend is complemented by tang. Look for Southeast Asian sambal sauce powered by chilies, rice vinegar and garlic to take kitchens by storm."
Emerging Trends and Flavors
Identified by a global team of McCormick chefs, food technologists and flavor experts, these trends offer a taste of 2016 and beyond:
1. Heat + Tang – Spicy finds a welcome contrast with tangy accents to elevate the eating experience.
Peruvian chilies like rocoto, ají amarillo and ají panca paired with lime
Sambal sauce made with chilies, rice vinegar and garlic
2. Tropical Asian – The vibrant cuisine and distinctive flavors of Malaysia and the Philippines draw attention from adventurous palates seeking bold new tastes.
Pinoy BBQ, a popular Filipino street food, is flavored with soy sauce, lemon, garlic, sugar, pepper and banana ketchup
Rendang Curry, a Malaysian spice paste, delivers mild heat made from chilies, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, tamarind, coriander and turmeric
3. Blends with Benefits – Flavorful herbs and spices add everyday versatility to good-for-you ingredients.
Matcha's slightly bitter notes are balanced by ginger and citrus
Chia seed becomes zesty when paired with citrus, chile and garlic
Turmeric blended with cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg offers sweet possibilities
Flaxseed enhances savory dishes when combined with Mediterranean herbs
4. Alternative "Pulse" Proteins – Packed with protein and nutrients, pulses are elevated when paired with delicious ingredients.
Pigeon peas, called Toor Dal when split, are traditionally paired with cumin and coconut
Cranberry beans, also called borlotti, are perfectly enhanced with sage and Albariño wine
Black beluga lentils are uniquely accented with peach and mustard
5. Ancestral Flavors – Modern dishes reconnect with native ingredients to celebrate food that tastes real, pure and satisfying.
Ancient herbs like thyme, peppermint, parsley, lavender and rosemary are rediscovered
Amaranth, an ancient grain of the Aztecs, brings a nutty, earthy flavor
Mezcal is a smoky Mexican liquor made from the agave plant
6. Culinary-Infused Sips – Three classic culinary techniques provide new tastes and inspiration in the creation of the latest libations.
Pickling combines tart with spice for zesty results
Roasting adds richness with a distinctive browned flavor
Brûléed ingredients provide depth with a caramelized sugar note
"Flavor Forecast is a catalyst for innovation," said Vetter. "Around the world this year, we're launching 56 new consumer products inspired by Flavor Forecast trends, and we're working with our customers across the food industry – from chain restaurants to beverage and snack producers – to help them do the same."