HUNT VALLEY, MD. — “Craveable contrasts,” including flavor pairings that mix and match different tastes, figure prominently in the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2011 report issued by McCormick & Company, Inc.

“Mixing and matching different tastes, textures and visual cues adds fun and energy to the basic pleasures of eating,” said Larry Tong, McCormick chef. “Whether it’s the unexpected zing of hibiscus in a Latin-inspired ancho chile sauce for ribs or brisket, or a clever twist on a cheesecake tart with an herb-popcorn crust, this year’s flavors really take the taste buds to exhilarating new places.”

McCormick’s top 10 flavor pairings for 2011 are:

• Fennel and peri-peri sauce
• Pickling spice and rice vinegar
• Roasted curry powder and wild mushrooms
• Caramelized honey and adzuki red beans
• Ancho chile pepper and hibiscus
• Thyme and stone fruits
• Mustard seed and vermouth
• Cilantro and nut butters
• Herbes de provence and popcorn
• Green peppercorn and goat’s milk

In addition to offering its outlook on flavors, McCormick highlighted five “currents of change” it expects to see in 2011. They are:

• Spirit of discovery — Consumer demand for international culinary adventure propels exploration of new ingredients and techniques.
• Flavor with benefits — Eating for wellness is more delicious than ever
• Invigorating and uplifting — Flavor bursts bring new energy to dining
• Soul Satisfaction — Comfort foods soothe the mind, heart and taste buds
• Craveable contrasts — The interplay of tastes, textures and visual cues adds character to the basic pleasures of eating.

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