McCormick® Forecasts Top 10 Flavor Pairings for 2008

HUNT VALLEY, Md. (December 20, 2007) – The fragrant, visually stunning duo of poppy seed and rose captures America’s quest for the ultimate sensory experience. This combination is just one of McCormick’s top 10 flavor pairings featured in the just-released McCormick® Flavor Forecast™ 2008.

As the largest spice company in the world, McCormick keeps a finger on the pulse of flavor through an extensive network of researchers, trend experts, chefs, food technologists and sensory analysts. Together with leading restaurant chefs, cookbook authors and TV food personalities, they have identified the top tastes shaping how Americans will eat in the coming year.

“Our team of chefs is constantly exploring new ways to experience flavor – it is the heart of what we do,” said Kevan Vetter, Executive Chef at McCormick. “When we see a new spirit of adventure with ingredients like lemon grass and lychee or red curry and masa, we know it’s an exciting time for food and flavor.”

So what’s influencing the flavors of 2008? America’s escalating interest in health and wellness, the boundless passion for discovering authentic ingredients and cooking techniques from around the globe and the increased desire for local and artisan food are all driving forces in evolving our collective palate. McCormick explored these and other trends to develop the top 10 flavor pairings for 2008.

McCormick’s Top 10 flavor pairings:

  • Oregano and Heirloom Beans: The intersection of functional food and fantastic flavor, this coupling is an antioxidant powerhouse.
  • Vanilla Bean and Cardamom: A flavor match made in heaven taps into America’s growing passion for indulgent, yet approachable luxury.
  • Chile and Cocoa: Old world authenticity in a modern context – the result is complex heat, depth, dimension and richness.
  • Coriander and Coconut Water: The essence of the tropics coaxes nuances of a chameleon-like spice bringing forth light, clean flavors.
  • Lemon Grass and Lychee: Exotic fruits from far away and the ever-growing popularity of Asian cuisines pave the way for this refreshing match.
  • Red Curry and Masa: This duo brings together Latin and Asian influences to create a unique flavor experience.
  • Orange Peel and Natural Wood: A new taste sensation is born when the smokiness of wood is matched with tangy orange peel.
  • Allspice and Exotic Meats: This adventurous combination represents America’s pursuit of experimentation.
  • Poppy Seed and Rose: An elegant and sensuous pair that captures the pursuit of cuisines from North Africa and the Middle East.
  • Rubbed Sage and Rye Whiskey: A powerful, all-American team – sage is a wonderful complement to the dry, gutsy nature of rye whiskey, a historic beverage poised for a great renaissance.

Recipe: Rye on Rye Roast Beef Panini

  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) low sodium beef broth
  • 1/3 cup rye whiskey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Rubbed Sage, divided
  • 1/2 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 8 slices hearty rye bread with seeds (1/2-inch thick)
  • 1 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained and sliced
  • 2 cups arugula or chopped romain lettuce leaves
  1. Preheat electric panini maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Meanwhile, mix beef broth, rye whiskey and 1 teaspoon of the sage in medium saucepan. Bring to simmer on medium heat. Set aside, keeping au jus warm while preparing sandwiches.
  3. Mix mayonnaise, horseradish and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sage in small bowl.
  4. Lightly brush 1 side of each slice of bread with olive oil. Place bread, oiled side down, on a clean work surface. Spread top of each slice with 1 tablespoon of sage mayonnaise.
  5. Top 4 bread slices with roast beef, red bell peppers and arugula. Top each with second slice of bread, oiled side up.
  6. Place 2 sandwiches at a time on preheated panini maker. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until bread is crisp and dark golden brown.
  7. Cut each sandwich in half.
  8. Serve with au jus in a large cup or small bowl for dipping.

Makes 4 servings of Rye on Rye Roast Beef Panini.

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