McCormick, the world’s largest spice company, plans to roll out more organic and natural flavors and become almost entirely organic and non-GMO by 2016. The US-based company, a global leader in spices, seasoning mixes, condiments, and flavor products, has unveiled its annual McCormick Flavor Forecast. Among the emerging trends are Ancient Grains and ‘superfoods’ such as chia, amaranth, and flaxseed.

Also featured are pulses that serve as a protein-packed canvas for delicious flavors – fitting as the United Nations celebrates 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, McCormick said.”Since its inception in 2000, Flavor Forecast has been tracking the growing interest in heat and identifying upcoming spicy flavors including chipotle, peri-peri and harissa,” said McCormick executive chef Kevan Vetter.

“Our latest report shows the next wave of this trend is complemented by tang. Look for Southeast Asian sambal sauce powered by chilies, rice vinegar, and garlic to take kitchens by storm.”
The emerging trends and flavors, identified by a global team of McCormick chefs, food technologists and flavor experts, offer a taste of 2016 and beyond:

1. Heat + Tang – Spicy finds a welcome contrast with tangy accents to elevate the eating experience; Peruvian chilies like rocoto, ají amarillo and ají panca paired with lime; Sambal sauce made with chilies, rice vinegar, and garlic.

2. Tropical Asian – The vibrant cuisine and distinctive flavors of Malaysia and the Philippines draw attention from adventurous palates seeking bold new tastes; Pinoy BBQ, a popular Filipino street food, is flavored with soy sauce, lemon, garlic, sugar, pepper and banana ketchup; Rendang Curry, a Malaysian spice paste, delivers mild heat made from chilies, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, tamarind, coriander, and turmeric.

3. Blends with Benefits – Flavorful herbs and spices add everyday versatility to good-for-you ingredients; Matcha’s slightly bitter notes are balanced by ginger and citrus; Chia seed becomes zesty when paired with citrus, chile, and garlic; Turmeric blended with cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg offers sweet possibilities; Flaxseed enhances savory dishes when combined with Mediterranean herbs.

4. Alternative “Pulse” Proteins – Packed with protein and nutrients, pulses are elevated when paired with delicious ingredients; Pigeon peas, called Toor Dal when split, are traditionally paired with cumin and coconut; Cranberry beans, also called borlotti, are perfectly enhanced with sage and Albariño wine; Black beluga lentils are uniquely accented with peach and mustard.

5. Ancestral Flavors – Modern dishes reconnect with native ingredients to celebrate food that tastes real, pure and satisfying; Ancient herbs like thyme, peppermint, parsley, lavender, and rosemary are rediscovered; Amaranth, an ancient grain of the Aztecs, brings a nutty, earthy flavour; Mezcal is a smoky Mexican liquor made from the agave plant.

6. Culinary-Infused Sips – Three classic culinary techniques provide new tastes and inspiration in the creation of the latest libations: Pickling combines tart with spice for zesty results; Roasting adds richness with a distinctive browned flavor; and Brûléed ingredients provide depth with a caramelized sugar note.

For recipes, images and more ways to explore this year’s top flavors, visit  FlavorForecast.com