McCormick announces top flavors and food trends

Published on Wednesday, 8 January 2014 01:39 - Written by Staff Reports

Marking its 125th year as a food industry innovator, McCormick & Co., a global leader in flavor, has unveiled its annual Flavor Forecast. First launched in 2000, this anniversary edition of the forecast explores how today’s unparalleled connectivity is driving faster-than-ever adoption of new trends and tastes around the globe.

McCormick manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry — retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses — in more than 110 countries. Since Willoughby M. McCormick founded the company selling root beer extract in 1889, McCormick has demonstrated a strong commitment to the communities in which it operates and the planet as a whole.

As McCormick celebrates it 125th year as a flavor innovator, they are embarking upon a yearlong journey that celebrates the power of flavor. At the heart of this celebration is a belief that the way we experience and enjoy flavor connect people and cultures around the world. The 2014 Flavor Forecast displays this emphasis on global flavor and how much we all enjoy food from other cultures.

The annual report is developed by McCormick experts from around the world and highlights five top food trends and more than a dozen emerging flavors that are predicted to impact the way we eat in the coming years.

One such trend is the growing obsession with chilies. “Everywhere we looked, people have a growing fascination with the delicious range of flavors and heat chile peppers deliver,” said McCormick Executive Chef, Kevan Vetter. “In the U.S., cooks are embracing exciting new varieties like the aji amarillo from Peru, which is prized for its sizzling heat and surprisingly full-bodied, fruity notes.”

These emerging trends and flavors highlighted in the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2014 offer a taste of what’s next on the global menu.



Chilies Obsession: Food lovers everywhere are seeking out their next big chile thrill. Beyond just discovering new chile varieties, this obsession has extended into using techniques like grilling, smoking, pickling, fermenting and candying to tease out their flavor potential.

Modern Masala: Indian food is finally having its moment, breaking free of its traditional confines with modern interpretations. Already familiar with basic curries, people around the world are taking their appreciation for this richly-spiced cuisine to the next level, exploring more flavors in new contexts, from food trucks to fine dining.

Clever Compact Cooking: Proving that big flavors can come from small spaces, cooks in urban kitchens are making the most of what’s available.

Mexican World Tour: Mexican flavors are making their way around the globe, with people everywhere discovering new aspects of this bright, casual cuisine.

Charmed by Brazil: The world’s attraction to Brazilian cuisine is heating up, illuminating the vibrant flavors and traditions of a dynamic melting pot culture that includes European, African, Asian and native Amazonian influences. Brazilian tastes are poised to emerge as a powerful influence in cooking around the globe.


Aji Amarillo: A hot Peruvian yellow chile with bold, fruity flavor. Other chiles to watch for are gualjilo (a mild Mexican dried chile), chile de arbol (a boodle Mexican chile), and Tien Tsin (a hot Sichuan chile.)

Kashmiri Masala: An often homemade blend of spices from northern India featuring cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and ginger.

Tea: Not just for sipping anymore, this natural ingredient is making its way into rubs, broths and marinades.

Chamoy Sauce: A unique Mexican condiment — made from apricot, lime, chilies and spices — just beginning to gain a following in the U.S.

Cassava Flour: Also known as manioc or tapioca flour, this gluten-free alternative is a Brazilian staple prized for its versatility.

Various ways to emphasize these trends and utilize the global flavors are illustrated in the following recipes. For more information and recipes go to


Three-Chile Mole Fondue

Three types of chiles – guajillo, chile de arbol and chipotle – give this Mexican inspired dessert sauce a smoky kick. Bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate, nutty peanut butter and warm cinnamon make this an intense, luscious complement to sweet churros, fresh fruit or assorted cookies.


4 large dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded

4 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed and seeded

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup blackstrap or dark rum

4 teaspoons creamy peanut butter

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormickᆴ Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Gourmet Chipotle Chile Pepper

1/2 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Gourmet Toasted Sesame Seed


Heat medium saucepan on medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add chiles; toast 30 seconds per side or until they begin to blister and change color slightly. Let saucepan cool slightly. Add 2 cups water to cover chiles. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes until chiles soften. Remove chiles with kitchen tongs to blender container. Add 1/2 cup chile soaking liquid; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth. Discard remaining soaking liquid in saucepan. Strain chile puree through large mesh strainer into saucepan. Stir in cream and corn syrup. Bring just to boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Garnish with toasted sesame seed. Makes 2 cups.


Grilled Shrimp Tandoori Salad with Mango Dressing

Similar to the tandoori oven cooking method, these Indian-spiced shrimp skewers are roasted on high heat on the grill and added to a salad packed with bold sweet and sour flavors. A fresh mango dressing adds a splash of fruitiness and color.



Mango Dressing:

1 large ripe mango, peeled and seeded

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons McCormickᆴ Gourmet Garam Masala

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Ground Red Pepper

Shrimp Tandoori Salad:

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons McCormickᆴ Gourmet Garam Masala

1 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Ground Ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Ground Red Pepper

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 large ripe mango, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 packages (5 ounces each) mixed baby greens

1 cup halved small heirloom or specialty tomatoes

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced



For the Mango Dressing, process mango in blender or food processor until pureed (about 1 cup puree). Add lime juice, oil, garam masala, salt and red pepper; process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For the Shrimp Tandoori Salad, mix 1/4 cup of the mint, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, honey, garam masala, ginger, salt and red pepper in small bowl. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Brush with mint mixture. Thread mango onto skewers. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Grill shrimp skewers over high heat 4 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink, turning once and brushing occasionally with mint mixture. Grill mango skewers 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly charred. Arrange greens, tomatoes and onion on 6 serving plates. Top with grilled shrimp, mango and remaining 3 tablespoons mint. Drizzle with 1/2 of the Mango Dressing. Makes 6 servings.


Vegetable Pho with Tea Broth

This flavorful, tea-based broth steeps in a French coffee press with spices. It serves as a perfect base for a vegetable version of Vietnamese pho, a comforting noodle soup.



1 package (8 ounces) shirataki noodles

1 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Gourmet Chinese Five Spice

1 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Minced Garlic

1 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Onion Powder

1/2 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Crushed Red Pepper

2 tablespoons loose Lapsang Souchong Tea

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

4 cups boiling water

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/4 cup julienned carrots

1/4 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms or wild mushrooms

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

Lime wedges



Rinse noodles with hot water in colander. Divide among 4 soup bowls. Place spices, tea leaves, hoisin sauce and water in 8-cup French press. Let stand 3 minutes. Using the French press plunger, strain stock. Pour clear liquid evenly into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients as garnish. Makes 4 servings. Test Kitchen Tip: Shirataki noodles can be found in Asian markets, health food stores, or in refrigerator case in the produce aisle of some supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute 4 ounces rice noodles, cooked as directed on package.


Mexican Slow-Roasted Pork (Cochinita Pibil)

An iconic dish of the Mexican Yucatan peninsula, Cochinita Pibil is marinated overnight in citrus juices, garlic and a distinctive seasoning paste of annatto, coriander seed, oregano and cumin. To serve, shred the tender meat with two forks and enjoy with corn tortillas and pickled onions.



1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 10 cloves)

3/4 cup Yucatan Red Recado (Spice Paste) (recipe follows)

6 1/2 pounds pork butt, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 4 pieces



Mix juices, garlic and Yucatan Red Recado in medium bowl until well blended. Pour over pork butt in large resealable plastic bag. Rub marinade all over pork. Refrigerate overnight. Remove pork from refrigerator. Place in large baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake in preheated 325ᄚF oven 4 hours or until pork is very tender. Shred pork using 2 forks. Mix with sauce in baking dish. Makes 16 servings. Test Kitchen Tip: Cochinita Pibil is usually prepared with bitter orange juice. It is found in the Latin foods aisle of the supermarket. Use 1 cup bitter orange juice in place of the lime juice and orange juice. Serving Suggestion: Serve shredded pork on soft corn tortillas with red onions, crumbled Cotija cheese, sliced serrano chiles, fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges.


Yucatan Red Recado (Spice Paste)

This spice paste from Yucatan peninsula includes annatto which gives it a distinctive red color. It is used to marinate pork butt for Cochinita Pibil, as well as chicken and fish.



1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic (about 10 cloves)

3 tablespoons ground annatto

4 teaspoons McCormickᆴ Gourmet Ground Coriander Seed

4 teaspoons McCormickᆴ Whole Mexican Oregano

4 teaspoons McCormickᆴ Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt

1 tablespoon McCormickᆴ Ground Cumin

1 tablespoon McCormickᆴ Coarse Ground Black Pepper

1/2 teaspoon McCormickᆴ Ground Cloves



Place all ingredients in blender container; cover. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Store in covered container in refrigerator up to 5 days. Makes 3/4 cup. Test Kitchen Tip: Yucatan Red Recado is usually prepared with bitter orange juice. It is found in the Latin foods aisle of the supermarket. Use 1/2 cup bitter orange juice in place of the lime juice and orange juice.