Move over, chile peppers. Make way for Shichimi Togarashi and Shawarma spice blends, highlighted in McCormick & Co.'s annual list of the coming year's top food trends and flavors.
The McCormick Flavor Forecast 2015, released today, looks at emerging trends shaping the way people eat at restaurants and cook at home. Last year, the Hunt Valley spice maker predicted an obsession with chilies as the biggest food trend for 2014.
Bold, intense flavors likely will dominate next year, according to the 15th annual forecast, which highlights eight trends.
"Many early trending flavors in past reports have become favorites of today," Kevan Vetter, McCormick's executive chef, said in the announcement. "Take chipotle chile, for instance. "When we first identified this chile pepper as a flavor to watch in 2003, many people couldn't pronounce it. Today, it's a household name."
Other flavors and ingredients, such as pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, coconut water and cocktail-inspired flavors, have appeared on store shelves and restaurant menus after being identified in previous flavor forecasts, he said.
Here are some food trends to watch, according to McCormick's global team of chefs and experts:
- Global spice blends: Japanese 7 Spice, or Shichimi Togarashi, includes chilies, sesame, orange peel, nori and more, and flavors soups, noodle dishes, grilled meats and seafood. Shawarma Spice Blend, a Middle Eastern street food flavor, is made with cumin, cinnamon and black pepper and used on chicken, beef and lamb before grilling or roasting.
- Middle Eastern Mezze: Distinctive dips and spreads packed with herbs and seasonings.
- Sour and Salt: Combining coarse salt with sours such as pickled ginger, sour cherry, dried mango and lemon zest adds flavor and texture to vegetables, chicken, shrimp and rice.
- Smoked Spices: Smoking spices and herbs deepens their flavor and aroma.
- Umami Veggies: Umami flavor is found naturally in tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, asparagus and celery, otherwise known as the "fifth taste."
- Liquid Revolution: Fresh purees and juices blend with bold spices and herbs to intensify sauces, pasta, dressings and other food.
- Flavor Worth the Wait: Recipes that blend aromatic spices and other ingredients into slow-cooked meals.
- Cookies Re-imagined – Classic spiced cookie flavors take new form in desserts such as gingersnap creme brulee and peanut butter snickerdoodle tart with cinnamon peanut crust.