Move over ghost peppers, common black pepper heats up in 2017, McCormick predicts

By Elizabeth Crawford contact

- Last updated on GMT

Source: McCormick
Source: McCormick
Exotic and over the top hot peppers have claimed the limelight the last few years, but in 2017 common black pepper -- a pantry staple in many homes -- will move to the center stage, predicts flavor and spice giant McCormick.

“After hiding in plain sight for so many years, pepper is finally capturing the spotlight,”​ McCormick says in its recently released 2017 Flavor Forecast. “Its up front bite and lingering sensation offer the new wave in spicy flavor.”

The basic spice will be tempered with sweet syrups and exotic fruits for a continuation on the ongoing spicy and sweet trend that is sweeping the industry, McCormick predicts.

It explains exotic fruit pairs well with pepper’s citrus notes, while sweet syrups complement its cedar notes.

Mediterranean flavors get a face lift

McCormick also predicts the long favorite Mediterranean diet will get a flavor facelift in 2017 by merging with Italian flavor favorites and Western European classics.

For example, it predicts Persian Ash-e reshteh, a thick bean and noodle soup, will merge with more familiar Italian minestrone. It also foresees less familiar Eastern Mediterranean salt-cured swordfish and Turkish manti finding their way into American homes by pairing with well-known German spaetzle and Italian bolognese.

Specific spices that will gain traction with this trend are tart and tiny red dried barberries and fragrant baharat season blends of black pepper, cumin, cardamon, cloves, coriander, nutmeg and paprika, McCormick says.

Cross continental flavor fusions

Blending of international flavors and cuisines will continue in 2017 with the combination of French, Mexican and Spanish spices cooked on a hot cast iron plancha, McCormick predicts.

For example, it foresees Americans using France’s sweet and smokey Espelette peppers with Mediterranean herbs for grilling rubs and then topping dishes with mojo verde, adobo negro and romesco from Mexico and a drizzle of sherry wine and vinegar from Spain.

Global flavors also will take over breakfast, McCormick predicts. For example, congee will take on a sweeter note with fruit from the far east and drizzle of balsamic.

While Congee will keep oatmeal at the breakfast table, sorghum also will make an appearance a a “new cereal”​ from Africa that goes well with plant-based milk, cinnamon and ginger, McCormick said.

For those seeking a bigger breakfast, McCormick sees breakfast hash taking on an international flare with sknug hot sauce made from cumin, cardamon, thai chilis, cilantro and other spices.

Eggs go all day

With the breakfast table crowded with grains and hash, McCormick predicts eggs will move to lunch and dinner where they will showcase their rich and creamy yolks. For example, it sees salty and savory dishes like shakshuka and broth bowls with soft boiled eggs gaining traction. Also cured eggs promising “buried treasure of umami taste”​ will emerge, it says.

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