Tropical Asian flavours are among the five trends highlighted by the latest McCormick Flavour Forecast.
This year’s trends include a spotlight on underexplored South-east Asian fare – Malaysian and Filipino – and the evolution of our insatiable appetite for spicy. Also featured are pulses, which serve as a protein-packed canvas for delicious flavours – fitting as the UN celebrates 2016 as the International Year of Pulses.
“Since its inception in 2000, Flavour Forecast has been tracking the growing interest in heat and identifying upcoming spicy flavours, including chipotle, peri-peri and harissa,” McCormick Australia Culinary Manager Simone Fergie said. “Our latest report shows the next wave of this trend is complemented by tang. Look for South-east Asian sambal sauce powered by chillies, rice vinegar and garlic to take kitchens by storm.”
Created by a global team of McCormick experts – including chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers and food technologists – the annual Flavour Forecast inspires culinary exploration and innovation around the world.
“Flavour Forecast is a catalyst for innovation,” Ms Fergie said. “Around the world this year, we’re launching many new consumer products inspired by Flavour Forecast trends, and we’re working with our customers across the food industry – from chain restaurants to beverage and snack producers – to help them do the same.”
The following trends offer a taste of 2016 and beyond:
Heat + tang: Spicy finds a welcome contrast with tangy accents to elevate the eating experience. For example, Peruvian chillies with lime, or sambal sauce made with chillies, rice vinegar and garlic.
Tropical Asian: The vibrant cuisine and distinctive flavours of Malaysia and the Philippines draw attention for adventurous palates seeking bold new tastes. Popular flavours include Pinoy barbecue (soy sauce, lemon, garlic, sugar, pepper and banana ketchup) and rendang curry (chillies, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, tamarind, coriander and turmeric).
Blends with benefits: Flavourful herbs and spices add everyday versatility to good-for-you ingredients. Matcha’s slightly bitter notes are balanced by ginger and citrus. Turmeric blended with cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg offers sweet possibilities.
Alternative ‘pulse’ proteins: Packed with protein and nutrients, pulses are elevated when paired with delicious ingredients – pigeon peas (called ‘toor dal’ when split) paired with cumin and coconut, cranberry beans (borlotti) with sage and Albariño wine, and black beluga lentils with peach and mustard.
Ancestral flavours: Modern dishes reconnect with native ingredients to celebrate food that tastes real, pure and satisfying. Ancient herbs such as thyme, peppermint, parsley, lavender and rosemary are rediscovered, as are an ancient grain of the Aztecs, amaranth, and the smoky Mexican liquor, Mezcal.
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 flavour; brûléed ingredients provide depth with a caramelised sugar note.