Today I’m partnering with McCormick & Company, announcing their new Flavor Forecast for 2013!

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If you’re a home cook as I am, I can only imagine you, too, use McCormick brand spices on a daily basis. They really have changed my way of cooking, adding spice and flavor to what would be very boring and bland cooking.

Just last night I made a yummy “easy” dessert–healthy too– with pizzazz from the McCormick spices blended into. My guests loved it, and it was healthy, flavorful, and a fun holiday treat!

The recipe involved “farro,” an upcoming grain found in the food trends I’ll be talking about today! (I promise to share the recipe here on RE soon!)

How the global annual report was compiled:

I was fascinated learning about McCormick’s annual global report, compiled by McCormick chefs, trend trackers, dietitians, marketing experts, and food technologists, which unveiled trends and flavors which they predict will drive culinary innovation in years to come. For 13 years now this forecast has been used in over 100 countries!

And you’ve guessed it, the trends are played out by ingredients across the world – depending on the country.

My findings with McCormick Chef Kevan Vetter :

I was fortunate enough to have a Skype interview with the McCormick Chef Kevan to discuss the trends. It was very cool, because I could ask specific questions about the flavor combination and trends that I found interesting, and how they are coming alive through taste. Although everything he had to say was very insightful, I couldn’t help but think how this “forecast” will shape the way we eat in the year ahead and beyond!

5 Trends of Global Flavor:

Empowered Eating – people are making healthier choices, using spices to enhance flavors–like the dessert that includes “farro grain” which I’ll be sharing soon on RE. Who would have thought you could make a delicious dessert so healthy and favorful? We are making food more thoughtful, more personal, more conscious driven to what’s best for our bodies, how we feel, what’s right for us. I love this trend!

Hidden Potential – home cooks and chefs are using flavors from every last part of the ingredients, with a waste-not mentality. Americans in the past (myself included) have been very wasteful. We have so much! By growing our own garden, my husband and I have now changed the way we cook. We’re more creative as we use more spices to make every part of the food taste its best. One example could be using every part of the celery, or lettuce, or even the stems of the lettuce. Or to use the carrot top as a garnish! We’re utilizing as much as we can.

Global My Way – it’s an adventurous and untraditional way of cooking, combining global flavors. While unique flavors are still identified with individual cultures, it doesn’t mean we limit those flavors to those natives uses only. I’m amazed at the new spices I keep learning about, and then incorporate into my every day cooking! It’s fun to explore and not be so traditional, adding a twist to my cooking. My mom was a traditional cook.

Personally Handcrafted – this is a trend popping up in restaurants, a very personal way of cooking and sharing as cooks are becoming more creative. You might see “signature dishes” popping up on menus, which means it probably has unique ingredients and spices. Eating experiences–in and out–are becoming more authentic, vibrant, and … I’d say interesting. Take the “Farm to Fork” dinner-mentality. It’s so personal and delicious! Canning and preserving is all over the place, too (my blog included), where people are showcasting the very best of ourselves. I love the art of canning and baking for gifts, or throwing a home dinner party for special guests.

No Apologies Necessary (opposite of Empowered Eating) – indulgent, not feeling bad about what we eat, possibly an escape from reality. I’d say this is comfort eating, but at the same time it’s where you really enjoy yourself, a meal, the people around the table. You could say “splurging.” People don’t want to apologize about it. It’s a way to savor scrumptious flavors (like the Black Rum Charred Orange & Allspice used in the drink below). Possibly a way to get to know and make our guests linger around our dinner tables a while longer?

It sure was enlightening for me to learn more about the future of global flavors. It gets me excited for this next year ahead, and how I’ll be sharing my home cooking with others around our table!

Out of the 5 trends of global flavor, which one attracts your cooking style the most?

I’ve partnered with McCormick & Company for this post; but as always, all opinions are my own.