McCormick flavor forecast focuses on four trends

Edible flower buds, crisped chilies and seaweed could factor into upcoming flavor innovation, according to McCormick & Co.’s 21st annual Flavor Forecast.

This year’s four flavor trends:

  1. Invite comforting global flavors to the table
  2. Move plants further into the spotlight
  3. Dive into fresh coastal ingredients and
  4. Promote wellness through mindful eating

Key flavors include the Indian spice blend chaat masala, the Malaysian jam pandan kaya and crisped chilies.

Chaat masala offers a savory flare combined with a zing of lemon. It may add a unique twist to comforting foods like loaded fries or lemonade.

Pandan kaya is made with pandan, coconut and eggs. It may add a creamy texture and vibrant green color to comforting sweets like donuts and fruit tarts.

Chilies appeared in last year’s flavor forecast as part of the spicy revolution theme, which focused on creative pairings of heat appearing in cocktails, baked foods and marinades. They also made the 2014 flavor forecast as part of the chilies obsession theme, which highlighted new techniques like grilling, smoking, pickling, fermenting and candying to tease out their flavor potential. This year could see fried and crisped chilies bring a spicy flavor and crunchy texture to comfort foods ranging from sauces and condiments to dumplings.

The theme of plants pushing boundaries highlights plant-based ingredients that deliver brilliant color and hearty texture. Vegetables such as hearts of palm, cactus and lobster mushrooms may bring a hearty texture to plant-based meals, while charred vegetables may be used in sauces to give dishes a darker color and rich flavor profile. Botanical ingredients like juniper, pine, fir, sage, cactus rose and edible flower buds may elevate sensory experiences, while natural ingredients like ube (purple yam) and carrots add a vibrant color in a wide range of foods and beverages.

Less explored ingredients from fresh and salt water also will play a role in culinary innovation, McCormick predicted. This trend uproots underwater botanicals like seaweeds and algae that infuse snacks, meals and beverages with an earthy flavor. Key flavors include dulse (red sea lettuce flakes), spirulina, (blue-green algae) and sea grapes (soft, green algae).

The last trend, physiological eating, taps into the reemergence of mindfulness and intention. Inspired by ancient practices and beliefs for mind-body balance, it includes flavors that promote a sense of harmony, growth and self-love. It also focuses on the Ayurvedic principles, which use six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent) to achieve balance, and warming and cooling techniques to provide comfort to the body. Key flavors include coriander, lemon, sea salt, cumin, turmeric and ginger.

Ancient flavors also appeared in the 2016 flavor forecast, which highlighted ancestral ingredients like herbs and amaranth, an ancient grain of the Aztecs, showing up in modern dishes.”

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Published by RenSun Lee

Kia ora! Sustainability is at the core of my soul ever since I was a kid. I always strive to finish the food on my plate and live as a minimalist. I love to cut down on waste in order to live sustainably and harmoniously with our planet. This brings me to my passion as a Food Scientist to integrate new technologies into innovative and creative solutions to meet customer demands and market trends and to optimize products and processes for quality, savings and sustainability. To these goals, I have published a Journal on my work on sustainable packaging and patented a new Antimicrobial wash. Nothing is more satisfying than working hard and smart at the workplace and playing hard outside of working hours. I enjoy rejuvenating myself through spending quality time with my two adorable kids and my awesome soul mate and getting close to nature when possible, be it gardening, tramping or going to the beach. I also love to learn about our magnificent universe and how sustainability is working in the grand scheme of things. I strongly believe that Work, Life & Balance is the key to a healthy state of mind, both physically and mentally. I look forward to making a positive difference wherever and whenever I can. Through this Blog, I hope to catalog recent Food Trends and Food Technologies that I come across so that anyone who is interested can have access to it (articles and resources). Please use these resources at your discretion. On top of that, I would also like to share related news and technologies of the future that would help mankind advance towards a Type 1 Civilization. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share and contribute to the “Resources“. I would like to thank you in advance for dropping by. I sincerely hope that you can benefit from the recent Food Trends and Food Technologies I catalogued. Kind regards | Ngā mihi RenSun Lee

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