The 128-year-old producer of spices and seasonings based its 2018 Flavor Forecast on street food. Street food is convenient, exotic and interactive, and even fits in with the rise of the snacking movement, it said.
On the menu
West Indies Hot Pot, Japanese Onigiri and Tanzanian Mishkaki are predicted flavor trends for 2018, according to McCormick global team of experts, chefs, trend trackers and food technologists.
In 2000, the team predicted smoky chipotle; maple in 2007; sweet coconut water and milk in 2008; turmeric in 2010; and Korean BBQ in 2012.
“This year’s report celebrates meals meant to be shared, along with the exciting experience of discovering a new flavor,” said McCormick Canada’s executive chef Juriaan Snellen.
The flavors of 2018
Handheld Flavor Fusion – street food staples loaded into crepes, buns and breads, such as:
- Sizzling Egg Crepes: Called jianbing in China and dan bing in Taiwan, these thin pancakes are griddled, filled and rolled. McCormick also suggests stuffing them with regional American tastes like smoky pork, crisp slaw and tangy sauce.
- Gyros Meet Arepas: A taco-sandwich hybrid made of crispy corn cakes filled with sliced meat, veggies and tzatziki sauce, fusing South America and Greece.
- Dessert Bao Buns: In China, these steamed buns are typically served up savory, but for a twist, McCormick recommended a British banoffee pie filling.
A Bite of East Africa – signature seasonings, BBQ marinades and sauces of the region.
- From Ethiopia comes the Berbere Spice Blend, which is hot, sweet and citrusy, combining paprika, allspice, coriander, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and red pepper.
- Tanzanian BBQ meat skewers, called mishkaki, are marinated in lemon, tomatoes and green papaya to tenderize the meat, and then coated in curry, garlic, red pepper and ginger.
Japanese Izakaya Eats – Japanese gastropub tasting plates, similar to Spanish tapas, featuring bold glazes, seaweed seasonings and tangy dipping sauces.
- Miso Sake Yakitori Glaze: A tangy, sweet and savory sauce with a distinctive char and bright, glossy look.
- Furikake Seasoning: A coarse mixture of seaweed, sesame, dried seafood, sugar and salt that’s literally sprinkled on everything.
- Onigiri–stuffed Rice Balls: Stuffed with ginger and plum vinegar-infused chicken for a sweet and zesty snack.
Drink to Your Wellness – breakfast boosts, snacking soups and end-of-day sips made from uplifting ingredients to awaken, energize and rebalance.
- The Morning Jumpstart: Swap coffee for a smoothie of green apples, cucumbers, clementine and cayenne.
- The Afternoon Soup: Oyster mushrooms, avocado, thyme and sage provide the ultimate pick-me-up.
- The Evening Elixir: Muddle fresh pineapple with ginger, turmeric and dandelion greens, and top with sparkling water.
Globetrot with Hot Pot – the steaming pot of Asian-flavoured broth can be easily changed up to go Mexican or Caribbean.
- Puebla Hot Pot: Steeping ancho chili, smoked paprika and spices in chicken stock gives this Central Mexican-inspired hot pot a smoky, savory taste.
- West Indies Hot Pot: Coconut milk infused with Bay leaves, thyme, turmeric and allspice, topped off with a chili papaya pica sauce and plantain chips.
McCormick, a $4.4bn Canadian company, has published the Flavor Forecast since 2000 to aid the food industry in remaining on-trend.
According to the company’s website, its Flavor Forecast is essential in predicting flavors and driving innovation, allowing it to hit the snack flavor bull’s-eye. “Collecting insights across categories and understanding the adoption path keeps us out in front of the industry when identifying flavors.”