Herbs Influence 2016 Flavor Profiles

Introduction by Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America and Research by McCormick & Company

Sambal_Sauce_4_600I love lists. So I was fascinated by McCormick & Company’s 2016 Flavor Forecast. A quick review shows a trend continuing global flavors and heavy with chili peppers, January’s herb of the month for HSA.

“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,” says Kevan Vetter, McCormick executive chef. “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 company identified the following trends and is launching new products to satisfy consumers’ emerging tastes.

While I’m more likely to grow than buy my herbs, I find the list fascinating. And, as it will influence new recipes, my herb garden may reflect some of the company’s observations.

  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 McCormick chili chiagood-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 flavor
    • 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
    • Brûléed ingredients provide depth with a caramelized sugar note


2 thoughts on “Herbs Influence 2016 Flavor Profiles

  1. Pingback: McCormick Predicts Flavors of 2018 – The Herb Society of America Blog

  2. Pingback: McCormick Presents 2017 Flavor Forecast – The Herb Society of America Blog

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