Flavour forecast 2009: top ten flavour pairings

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 30th December 2008

An appetite for internationally infused tastes, a desire for all-natural foods and a craving for favourite ingredients are a few of the influences behind the McCormick Flavour Forecast 2009. The report, released by the US-based spices and seasonings company, takes an in-depth look at 10 emerging flavour combinations poised to transform America’s, and international, menus in the coming year.


“Our passion for flavour is the inspiration behind the ‘Flavour Forecast’,” said Kevan Vetter, Executive Chef at McCormick. “Whether it’s a mix of culturally diverse tastes – like smoked paprika and agave nectar – or a discovery of pure ingredients – like mint and quinoa – this year, we see excitement in the blending of the new and the familiar.”

‘McCormick Flavour Forecast 2009’ top 10 flavour pairings:

1. Toasted Sesame and Root Beer: An iconic soda is rediscovered for its versatility as a cooking ingredient, paired with the bold nuttiness of toasted sesame seed.

2. Cayenne and Tart Cherry: The flavours of two superfoods – the heat of cayenne and sweet-sour tang of tart cherry – pack a multi-layered punch.

3. Tarragon and Beetroot: This hip pair creates a sensory feast that is anything other than predictable or restrained.

4. Peppercorn Mélange and Sake: Japan’s notable rice wine finds a new partner in the quintessentially French unison of multicoloured peppercorns.

5. Chinese Five Spice and Artisan-cured Pork: Hand crafted artistry merges with a harmonious Asian blend to create an innovative taste sensation.

6. Dill and Avocado Oil: Mild avocado oil finds an elegant partner in clean, minty dill – reflecting the quality that comes from pure, natural ingredients.

7. Rosemary and Fruit Preserves: Fresh-picked fruit flavours fuse with aromatic rosemary for a progressive interpretation of sweet and savoury.

8. Garam Masala and Pepitas: A beautifully matched global combination of an intoxicating spice blend from India and a prized seed popular in Latin America.

9. Mint and Quinoa: Nutritious, whole-grain quinoa is taken to new heights when paired with the exhilarating, cool taste of mint.

10. Smoked Paprika and Agave Nectar: Smoky sweetness from the purity of nature celebrates a union of Spanish and Mexican ingredients.

McCormick has provided an annual trend forecast for nearly a decade by drawing on the expertise of sensory analysts, chefs, trend experts and food technologists.