Foodservice Menu Trends:<br />Flavor Faves for the New Decade

Eco-conscience, health and wellness, global cuisine, and the economy factor heavily in McCormick’s 2010 Flavor Forecast, which identifies the leading trends and top 10 flavor pairings for the coming year, as evidenced in the lineup below:

–Always in Season: Preserving the peak of ripeness for year-round enjoyment
–Meatless on the Menu: Mixing up the center of the plate
–Ethnic Sizzle: Tastes of the global grill, appearing in a backyard or restaurant near you
–New Comfort Cuisine: A renewed appreciation for the integrity of ingredients and cooking techniques
–Where the Cocktail Meets the Kitchen:  Shaken or stirred, tasteful inspiration takes on new forms

“The Flavor Forecast is all about merging two ingredients that will inspire and create an authentic and fulfilling experience in one bite,” said Colleen McClellan, food insights strategist for Hunt Valley, Md.-based McCormick. “To achieve this goal, it takes a great understanding of foodservice, consumers and sensory science.”

McCormick’s 2010 Flavor Forecast reinvents traditional ingredients by combining them with exotic elements to create ethnic-inspired, craveable and profitable menu offerings. The top 10 hottest pairings worth noting now and in the future are:

1. Roasted Ginger & Rhubarb: The combination of roasted ginger and rhubarb shakes up traditional barbecue sauces or chunky chutneys for roasted meats

2. Thai Basil & Watermelon: The fusion of Thai basil’s licorice-like edge and the sweet juiciness of ripe watermelon is a colorful study in contrasts

3. Caraway & Bitter Greens: The unmistakable flavor of caraway tames the aggressiveness of bold greens that are a signature of Southern cooking

4. Bay Leaves & Preserved Lemon: The intensely aromatic coupling of bay leaves and preserved lemon is an alluring blend of bitter, salty-tart and bright

5. Almond & Ale: Evoking the spirit of the modern gastropub, the bittersweet character of both almonds and ale are a rich, hearty match for one another

6. Turmeric & Vine-Ripened Tomatoes: Vivid turmeric teams up with juicy, peak-of-harvest tomatoes to accent their subtle sweetness and add a mildly bitter, earthy note

7. Pumpkin Pie Spice & Coconut Milk: Summoning the essence of its island origins, this lush, warm pairing reconnects the components of a familiar American spice mixture with their tropical roots

8. Roasted Cumin & Chickpeas: A harmony of culinary commonalities unites roasted cumin and chickpeas for a robust, nourishing and surprisingly versatile taste experience

9. Creole Mustard & Shellfish: The lively zip of Creole mustard wakes up a range of shellfish from shrimp, crayfish and crabs to oysters and clams

10. Chives & Fish Sauce: The mild, oniony bite of chives adds a fresh green dimension and color to the salty complexity of fish sauce
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