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Top 5 Flavor Pairing Predictions for 2009

At the onset of each year, American spice company McCormick offers its prediction for the top spice combinations. When we shared the company's top picks with you last year, your vote went to the vanilla and cardamom combo. Incidentally, throughout 2008, I encountered that flavor pairing in recipes and menu items from flan to peach pie. McCormick recently released its forecast for 2009. To see five of the new flavor combinations predicted to explode onto the food scene (and your tongue) this year,

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  • Toasted sesame and root beer
  • Chinese five spice and artisan-cured pork
  • Dill and avocado oil
  • Mint and quinoa
  • Smoked paprika and agave nectar

The Peruvian grain quinoa has been gaining popularity, and I've already seen recipes for it tossed with mint and other herbs. With the shift away from high-fructose corn syrup and toward natural sweeteners, I could see agave nectar and smoked paprika being a big hit. Toasted sesame and root beer? That's an interesting idea, but I'd have to try it in order to believe it will take off.

What are your thoughts on the flavor forecast?

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