SPARKS, MD. — McCormick & Co., Inc. has announced its global Flavor Forecast for 2012, which emphasizes honoring traditional ingredients and techniques in appreciation of the heritage of a cuisine.

McCormick found the following global favor trends and related flavor combinations:

Honoring Roots — Using traditional ingredients and techniques to celebrate the heritage of a cuisine is driving popular flavors. Flavor combinations of Korean pepper paste with sesame, Asian pear and garlic go along with this to provide barbeque with a global twist. Cumin with sofrito also illustrates this trend to display authentic Hispanic foundational flavors.

“Honoring Roots is all about taking heritage flavors and applying a fresh perspective that mindfully balances modern tastes and cultural authenticity,” said Steve Love, a chef for McCormick Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The flavor combination of Korean pepper paste with sesame, Asian pear and garlic honors Korean BBQ and inspires new interpretations. While these flavors are gaining attention on restaurant menus in some regions, they are still emerging in others. We predict this unique combination of sweet, sour, spicy and savory will soon dazzle taste buds all around the globe.”

Quest for the ultimate — Flavor enthusiasts aren’t satisfied with the same taste year after year, and they are searing for satisfaction on a quest to achieve the ultimate taste experience. Meyer lemon with lemon thyme, limoncello and lemon peel demonstrates this as well as dill with mint, melon and cucumber.

Veggies in vogue — Vegetables are becoming more popular thanks to the enthusiasm of chefs, seasonal produce and the growth of fresh markets. Eggplant with honey and harissa as well as squash with red curry and pancetta illustrates this trend.

Simplicity shines — Consumers often remember the simplest foods the best. Cooks are highlighting quality ingredients and preparations. Ginger with coconut and vanilla with butter are examples of this.

Flavorful swaps — Small changes make a big difference in personal well-being, and balancing an appetite for bold flavor with concepts of good health is essential to reaching wellness goals. Red tea with cinnamon and plum as well as grapefruit with red pepper shows this trend.

No boundaries — Chefs are cooking outside the box by discovering, reinventing and playing with food through exploration and ignoring the traditional rules. Blueberry with cardamom and corn masa as well as sweet soy with tamarind and black pepper represents this trend.

For 2011, the top flavor pairings listed in the Flavor Forecast were fennel and peri-peri sauce, pickling spice and rice vinegar, roasted curry powder and wild mushrooms, and caramelized honey and adzuki red beans.