Jul 5, 2022, 8:35

A New World of Flavor Combinations

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 09:34


The McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2012 reveals that food lovers everywhere have much in common.

A global leader in flavor, McCormick & Company, Incorporated, is taking its Flavor Forecast® to the next level in 2012. For this milestone report, an international group of McCormick experts—including chefs, sensory scientists, trend trackers, marketing experts and food technologists—collaborated to identify global trends that will continue to shape the future of flavor.

After a year-long process of culinary exploration, data discovery and insight development, McCormick’s 2012 Flavor Forecast revealed a surprising finding: Food lovers around the world have more in common than expected. The trends impacting our food choices are strikingly similar from region to region, even though the specific foods, flavors and ingredients we enjoy are uniquely rooted in our local cultures.

The six globally relevant trends are brought to life through 12 regional flavor combinations:

Honoring Roots
Chefs inspired by foundational flavors are finding a way to balance modern flair with cultural authenticity.

1. Cumin with Sofrito (authentic Hispanic foundational flavors)
2. Korean Pepper Paste with Sesame, Asian Pear & Garlic (barbecue with a global twist)

Quest for the Ultimate
Flavor fanatics searching for the ultimate taste experience through quality ingredients, flavors and textures.

3. Dill with Mint, Melon & Cucumber (the ultimate refresher)
4. Meyer Lemon with Lemon Thyme, Limoncello & Lemon Peel (the ultimate lemon)

Veggies in Vogue
Fresh, seasonal veggies are dressed to impress with new cooking techniques and inventive bursts of flavor.

5. Eggplant with Honey & Harissa (worldly veggie with sweet heat)
6. Squash with Red Curry & Pancetta (versatile veggie with a touch of Thai)

Simplicity Shines
Clear, unpretentious flavors are an approachable celebration of the basics. A move away from complexity and flash.

7. Ginger with Coconut (warm spice joins tropical favorite)
8. Vanilla with Butter (pure essentials for real goodness)

Flavorful Swaps
Balancing bold flavor with hunger for health is key to achieving wellness goals, without sacrificing enjoyment.

9. Red Tea with Cinnamon & Plum (better-for-you beverage meets fruit and spice)
10. Grapefruit with Red Pepper (a new take on lemon pepper)

No Boundaries
Blending inspirations and shedding the confines of traditional “rules” equals a renewed permission to have fun.

11. Sweet Soy with Tamarind & Black Pepper (steak sauce with an Asian flair)
12. Blueberry with Cardamom & Corn Masa (from everyday to extraordinary)

“By taking a global view with the 2012 Flavor Forecast, our goal was to support the innovative chefs and foodservice professionals who are helping drive the growing demand for internationally influenced cuisines,” says Kevan Vetter, McCormick For Chefs® executive chef. “With their passion for food and our insight on flavor, the opportunities for menu innovation are endless.”

The McCormick Flavor Forecast has proven to be successful in serving as a catalyst for flavor innovation, playing an important part in moving edgy ingredients into mainstream popularity. Examples include:

  • Chipotle. Highlighted in the 2003 Flavor Forecast, at that time, most weren’t aware of this chile pepper or even how to pronounce it. Today, chipotle can be found on menus everywhere, from fast-food outlets to upscale dining establishments. In fact, menu mentions of chipotle increased by 54% from 2004 to 2010.
  • Cocktail-Inspired Meals. First identified in the 2008 Flavor Forecast, today, alcohol-inspired dishes, and even entire themed menus centered around a particular alcohol flavor, have grown in popularity in restaurants everywhere, with a recent emphasis on craft brews and bourbon.

“Staying on top of trends is essential to the culinary industry, as it gives us a clear pulse on how today’s culture is impacting food choices,” says Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, president of the American Culinary Federation. “McCormick has proven time and again to be a leading trend-information resource. We especially look forward to seeing their Flavor Forecast, which pushes the boundaries of what is possible with food and gives us a flavor roadmap for the future.”

To explore the future of flavor with inspired recipes, photos and video, visit www.McCormickForChefs.com/FlavorForecast.

Photo: In Korean barbecue, powerful ingredients combine in an intricate harmony for the senses. (See “Honoring Roots” above.) Gaining popularity as a result of interest in global street food and regional live-fire specialties, chefs are celebrating the balance inherent in this tasty heritage—dazzling the taste buds with a unique combination of sweet, sour, savory and bitter.

A Muffin Makeover: Dispelling the Low-Fat-Is-Healthy Myth

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 09:31

food2_feb12The low-fat approach to eating hasn’t reduced obesity or made people healthier, says the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dozens of studies, many from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, have shown that low-fat diets are no better for health than moderate- or high-fat diets—and for many people, may be worse.

To combat this “low fat is best” myth, nutrition experts at HSPH and chefs and registered dietitians at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) developed five new muffin recipes that incorporate healthy fats and whole grains, and use a lighter hand on the salt and sugar. Their goal? To “make over” the ubiquitous low-fat muffin, touted as a “better for you” choice when, in fact, low-fat muffins often have reduced amounts of heart-healthy fats, such as liquid plant oils, but boast plenty of harmful carbohydrates in the form of white flour and sugar.

Other low-fat processed foods are not much better, and are often higher in sugar, carbohydrates or salt than their full-fat counterparts. For good health, type of fat matters more than amount. Diets high in heavily processed carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Food Waste: A Global Diner Concern

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 09:25


Nearly half of U.S. diners say they would spend more for meals at foodservice locations that limit food waste. Unilever Food Solutions’ World Menu Report sparks a new program and website to encourage sharing of best practices within the foodservice industry.

Unilever Food Solutions’ latest World Menu Report, “Sustainable Kitchens: Reducing Food Waste,” demonstrates that the issue of food waste hits a nerve with U.S. consumers who eat out at least once a week. Nearly 80% of U.S. diners surveyed express concern about the amount of food thrown away every day in restaurants, cafeterias and other away-from-home venues. A single restaurant in the United States can produce 25,000 to 75,000 pounds of food waste in a year depending on the size of the establishment, according to an extensive analysis of restaurants by the Boston-based Green Restaurant Association (GRA).

American Regionalism, Consumer Control and More

Wednesday, 04 January 2012 11:00

food3_jan12Mintel predicts five foodservice trends that will shape restaurant menus in 2012.

Competition in the foodservice industry is always fierce, and restaurant chains are constantly jockeying for business, money and attention in an overcrowded marketplace. In 2012, however, five trends outlined by Mintel Menu Insights will shape how operators appeal to their customers with regional and imported menu options, double-sided menus, customization and time-intensive preparation methods.

Eric Giandelone, foodservice director at Mintel, notes the following: “Our trends are designed to give both restaurant operators and food suppliers a thorough understanding of what’s coming in the foodservice industry. Our trends are based on original consumer research, developments among restaurants and trends observed in other industries. Our goal with these trend predictions isn’t merely to identify what’s going to happen, but to deliver a roadmap on how to take advantage of these trends.”

Revelations in “You Are What You Eat”

Wednesday, 04 January 2012 10:56

food2_jan12Despite little change over 20 years in the healthfulness of the foods we consume, more Americans rank their diets worse. Are we more receptive today to dietary guidance?

The obesity trend is significantly influenced by socioeconomic factors, such as income level and race/ethnicity that create complex questions for the food industry. There remains a clear relationship between household financial resources and diet perception: People who rate their diets as “excellent” tend to come from households with greater financial resources than those who rate their diets as “poor.”

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