The flavor experts at Hunt Valley, Md.-based McCormick teamed up with leading chefs, food bloggers and other culinary authorities to identify the top 10 flavor pairings and key trends that are poised to shape the way we eat in the year ahead. And it's a milestone - the 10th anniversary of prolific flavor reports from the industry leader.
Leading trends in the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2010 include: In is the New Out - Big flavors and new definitions of "dinner party" bring the best of restaurant meals home; Always In Season - Preserving the peak of ripeness for year-round enjoyment, fresh at the ready; Meatless on the Menu - Mixing up the center of the plate; Ethnic Sizzle - Tastes of the global grill, appearing in a backyard near you; New Comfort Cuisine - A renewed appreciation for the integrity of ingredients and cooking techniques; and Where the Cocktail Meets the Kitchen - Shaken or stirred, tasteful inspiration takes on new forms.
McCormick 2010 Top 10 Flavor Pairings include: Roasted Ginger & Rhubarb -- Exciting layers of spicy and sour, with warming notes and a powerful tang; Thai Basil & Watermelon -- A colorful study in contrasts offers a sweet, refreshing balance; Caraway & Bitter Greens -- An unmistakable spice tames the bitter bite of bold greens; Bay Leaves & Preserved Lemon -- Slowly coaxed flavor worth the wait, an aromatic mix of bitter, salty-tart and bright; Almond & Ale -- The bittersweet character of both ingredients makes a congenial, cozy and hearty match; Turmeric & Vine-Ripened Tomatoes -- Earthy and naturally sweet, this colorful, healthful blend is always in season; Pumpkin Pie Spice & Coconut Milk -- This lush, warm pairing reconnects with its tropical roots; Roasted Cumin & Chickpeas -- This globetrotting Mediterranean duet delivers warm, earthy flavor harmonies; Creole Mustard & Shellfish -- A vibrant pair that brings Gulf Coast gusto to any part of the country; and Chives & Fish Sauce -- Savory fusion of French and Asian cuisines.
"The year in flavor will be heavily influenced by bitter, warm and earthy notes," says Kevan Vetter, executive chef at McCormick. "We see America's palates embracing stronger flavors - high-impact combinations that are anything but subtle. For example, bold bitter greens will be appreciated for their assertiveness, tamed with the licorice-like addition of caraway - one of the 10 pairings in this year's report. The warm and earthy duo of roasted cumin and chickpeas is another expression of the year's big flavors."