For the past 12 years, international flavour experts, McCormick, have been predicting the future of flavour by creating an annual report outlying the emerging culinary trends. This year, for the first time, they’ve taken a global approach to their annual Flavour Forecast and have incorporated predictions and recipes from all around the world. ‘This year, our Forecast takes a global view and pinpoints the cutting-edge trends and flavours that are driving a spirit of discovery around the world – from cuisines on the verge of widespread appeal to ingredients with the potential to alter the culinary landscape several years from now,’ says McCormick. The report is compiled by an international group of experts, including chefs, sensory scientists, trend trackers and food technologists, who all collaborate to identify the trends and flavours highlighted in this annual effort. The most surprising element they found this year, in their inaugural global report, is that ‘food lovers around the world have more in common than we ever imagined’. Mike Palmer, technical director of McCormick SA, said the whole team was overwhelmed by the strength of the overriding macro themes in the various countries’ contributions. ‘The trends impacting our food choices are strikingly similar around the world – even though the specific foods, flavours and ingredients we enjoy are uniquely rooted in out local cultures,’ said McCormick. The 2012 Flavour Forecast, which was released last week, identifies six powerful themes that it predicts will shape the way food production is heading this year. They are: 1. Honouring Roots: This trend, which celebrates the root of a cuisine, aims to preserve the integrity of regional flavours by balancing modern tastes and cultural authenticity. 2. Quest for the Ultimate: This trend sees a move towards achieving ever-greater sensory heights.Think powerful bursts of elemental flavours, be it zesty, refreshing, umami or pungent, that strive for the ultimate taste experience. 3. Veggies in Vogue: This healthy forecast sees the humble veggie being upgraded to first-class citizen. It aims to move away from overcooked, over-seasoned vegetables and from greens being seen as a side dish. 4. Simplicity Shines: Reflecting the ethos that the most memorable food is often the simplest, this trend focusses on using the highest-quality ingredients with simple preparations. 5. Flavourful Swaps: Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring. This prediction sees a move towards small changes that make for a healthier meal without compromising on flavour. 6. No Boundaries: Ready to try something new? This trend says there are no rules and that we all have the freedom to explore and enjoy whatever flavour combinations we’d like. Anything goes! Ready to try some of the dishes McCormick team has put together? Visit their website and see how these trends have been interpreted by experts from around the world.