Handheld fusion, Asian hotpots and tastes of East Africa are among the key upcoming flavour trends flagged by flavour and ingredients company McCormick in its annual Flavour Forecast.


The 2018 Flavour Forecast aims to take a look into the future at the latest ingredients, cooking techniques and culinary ideas driving what’s next in flavour at restaurants, on retail shelves and in home kitchens.


“For 2018, look to new eating experiences that invite sharing, are globally inspired and pack a flavourful punch,” said McCormick culinary manager Simone Fergie.


The five flavour trends predicted by McCormick are:


1.Handheld Flavour Fusion


Take to the streets for the latest fusing of global cuisines, including high-flavour fillings with unique crepes, buns and breads for loaded street fare you eat with your hands.


Examples include Sizzling Egg Crepes, Gyros Meet Arepas, and Dessert Bao Buns.


2. A Bite of East Africa


East African cuisine's signature seasonings, BBQ marinades and sauces of Tanzania and Ethiopia are being explored across the globe.


Examples include Berbere Spice Blend and Tanzanian BBQ.


3. Japanese Izakaya Eats


Bite-sized food from Japan in the casual tasting plates, similar to Spanish tapas, featuring bold glazes, seaweed seasonings and tangy dipping sauces.


Examples include Yakitori Glaze, and Furikake Seasoning, and Ongiri (stuffed Rice balls).


4. Drink to Your Wellness


Breakfast boosts, snacking soups and end-of-day sips with robust flavours and uplifting ingredients like cucumber, dandelion greens, ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper to awaken, stay energised, rebalance and enjoy.


Examples include The Morning Jumpstart with tart green apples, cucumbers, clementines and a kick of cayenne; The Afternoon Soup with oyster mushrooms, avocado, thyme and sage; and The Evening Elixir of fresh pineapple with ginger, turmeric and dandelion greens, and sparkling water.


5.Globetrot with Hot Pot


Share Asian, Mexican, and West Indies-inspired hot pots of deeply flavoured broths with guests with meat, seafood and veggies for dunking.


The West Indies Hot Pot, for example, features spiced coconut milk broth, bay leaves, thyme, turmeric and allspice to cook seafood, which is topped with a chilli.


McCormick says it deploys an international team of experts, chefs, trend trackers and food technologists to explore and identify flavours, and the company claims its successful predictions include smoky, spicy chipotle in 2000, rich and versatile maple in 2007, refreshingly sweet coconut water and milk in 2008, golden turmeric in 2010 and tangy, savoury Korean BBQ in 2012.

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