Saké and mixed peppercorns: one pairing to wake up flavor in 2009.




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January 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Seasonings

Flavor Trends For 2009

Top Spice Pairings That Will Make Your Dishes Cutting Edge...With Great Recipes



CAPSULE REPORT: Looking for palate excitement this year? McCormick, the world’s largest spice company, has developed cutting-edge flavor combinations that are sure to inspire. International influences and natural foods figure prominently in the company’s Top 10 Flavor Pairings for 2009, allowing for flavorful yet healthy dishes. After reviewing the introductions to each flavor pairing, you can click through to a delicious recipe that expresses those flavors. If you love these innovative pairings as much as we do, you can still enjoy the wonderful recipes from Flavor Trends 2008, as well. This is Page 1 of a four-page article. Click on the black links below to view all 10 flavor pairings.


How does a spice company decide what’s hot? McCormick draws on the expertise of sensory analysts, chefs, trend experts and food technologists. Joined by some of today’s most innovative and cutting-edge restaurant chefs, cookbook authors and TV food personalities, this collective culinary vision helps chart a delicious course for the year ahead.

Influencing the flavors of 2009 are Asian-infused and internationally influenced tastes, a desire for all-natural foods and a craving for favorite ingredients reimagined with contemporary whimsy. McCormick explored these and other trends to develop the top 10 flavor pairings for 2009. See which one of the following you’d like to try first:


Cayenne And Tart CherriesPairing 1: Cayenne & Tart Cherry

Cayenne pepper is a red chile with medium heat—6 on a scale of 10—used to flavor spicy dishes; its name comes from the city of Cayenne in French Guyana and it owes its fame to the Portuguese sailors who carried it to back to Europe, Asia and India on their voyages. It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Units. Cherries are a particularly good source of vitamin C and potassium. Both of these foods are very high in antioxidants, with raw cherries carrying 3,365 ORAC units per 100 grams and cayenne pepper carrying up to 23,636 units per 100 grams. (Read more about antioxidants in our Guide To Antioxidants.) Put together, these two superfoods—the heat of cayenne and sweet-sour tang of tart cherry—pack a multi-layered punch. Try them in this recipe for sweet-and-spicy Pulled Pork Sandwich In Tart Cherry Sauce With Vanilla Slaw.

Chinese Five Spice And Artisan-Cured PorkPairing 2: Chinese Five Spice & Artisan-Cured Pork

Chinese five-spice is a powdered blend of spices that incorporate the five basic flavors of Chinese cooking: sweet, sour, bitter, savory and salty. The blend will vary according to the cook or the spice company, but a common one includes star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, cassia (a type of cinnamon) and fennel. Blends can be found at supermarkets, specialty food stores and Asian markets, or you can make your own.

While Chinese Five Spice can be used in virtually any recipe (chocolatier Richard Donnelly uses it in one of his chocolate bars), here, one of America’s favorite foods, bacon, gets the Five Spice treatment. Artisan-cured pork means better bacon. The meat may be cured with a mixture of salt, sugar and spices, either rubbed into the meat dry (“dry-cured”) or dissolved in a marinade, or sometimes smoked, rather than being cured with brine as with most supermarket brands.

In this recipe, handcrafted artistry merges with a harmonious Asian blend to create an innovative taste sensation. Make yourself a delectable brunch with this recipe for Mixed Greens With Five Spiced Bacon & Poached Egg.


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