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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,


  • 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?


Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
PinkUnicorn I'm with you!
PinkUnicorn PinkUnicorn 8 years
Oh NOOOOOOOO! Dill and mint are my most HATED herbs and I do not look forward to a year of seeing them everywhere!
neonbee neonbee 8 years
Umm, most of them sound weird to me. Then again, I don't cook.
girlwparasol girlwparasol 8 years
five spice? dill? avocado? ew... sounds like a bad year for me then. i DO love paprika, though!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
huh - well i'm not usually a good 'chemist' at pulling together different flavors, but i can say that i'd be open to try a lot of these. i'm all for the sweet and savory combination so i'll have to just keep my eyes open to see what comes out next.
kia kia 8 years
I saw 10 pairings on the McCormick site, like last year and am interested to see which ones come to fruition. I definitely see paprika and agave nectar. I have a cane sugar allergy and have played with agave nectar for quite a while. I can also see five-spice and agave when I think about it when it is paired with the right meat or a nutty base on a sauce. I gotta say heck ya about tart cherry and cayenne. And rosemary with preserves go great with the right cheese.
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