Introduction by Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America and Research by McCormick & Company
Global influences are keeping American kitchens busy, according to herb and spice leader McCormick & Company. “The 2017 Flavor Forecast identifies cutting-edge flavors that help chefs, tastemakers and home cooks refresh their menus,” said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter.
Recognizing the trend, McCormick has introduced a new all-purpose seasoning known as Baharat, a fragrant, Eastern Mediterranean blend of spices such as cumin, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg and more. Vetter suggests sprinkling over warm, seasonal soups, stirring into tomato-based sauces, or adding to a favorite chicken dish.
A big player in flavor, peppers return to the 2017 list. And while spices play heavy in the trend, herbs have a strong role as well. Here are the five flavor trends the chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers and flavor experts at McCormick have identified for 2017.
Rise & Shine to Global Tastes – Breakfast options with big, global flavors are being sought after by a generation of flavor adventurists not content with the same boring bowl. Try warm, sweet congee or a Middle Eastern-inspired breakfast hash topped with a spicy skhug sauce. Skhug is a complex Middle Eastern hot sauce is made with Thai bird eye chilies, cumin, cardamom, coriander, garlic, parsley, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice.
Plancha: Flat-Out Grilling – Hailing from Spain, France’s Basque region as well as Mexico, the plancha (a thick, flat slab of cast iron) is growing in popularity around the world for creating a sizzling, smoky sear and flavor crust. Grillers can easily use the plancha with meats, seafood and vegetables, paired with bold sauces, rubs and glazes. And, don’t forget the fresh cilantro.
- Egg Yolks: The Sunny Side of Flavor – Egg yolks have gone beyond breakfast. Whether poached, fried or cured, chefs are pairing these indulgent golden gems with a range of spices, herbs and sauces on lunch and dinner menus.
- Modern Med – Eastern Mediterranean ingredients are melding with Western European classics. Consider a turmeric-seasoned Persian stew married with Italian minestrone.
Sweet on Pepper – Enter the new sweet heat. With an up-front bite and lingering sensation, peppercorns are capturing the spotlight. Their cedar and citrus notes pair perfectly with up-and-coming naturally sweet ingredients like dates and dragon fruit.