McCormick's Flavor of 2024 Adds a Hint Sweet and Sour to Your Recipes

This spice gives your typical dishes complexity—in the easiest way.

In 2023, we saw tinned fish swim to the top of the food chain, the continued rise of nut milks over cow's milk, and mocktails appearing on more menus and sparkling wines growing more popular (especially for girl dinners). So, what does 2024 hold for culinary creativity? According to McCormick, the new year is bringing the rise of a unique, sour-sweet spice.

After months of research conducted by over 50 people worldwide, McCormick announced tamarind as its next flavor of the year. A spice derived from a tropical fruit native to Africa, India, and Middle Eastern countries, it combines acidic and tangy elements for a puckered-up addition to recipes.

"For nearly 25 years, McCormick has forecasted global flavor trends through our Flavor Forecast report," said Tabata Gomez, chief marketing officer at McCormick, in a statement. After all this time, there is still no shortage of trends to uncover, which allow us to continue to shake up the way people cook, flavor, and eat."

Tamarind and other ingredients and bowl of tamarind sauce on table

ALLEKO / Getty Images

In addition to Tamarind's spicy-sweet, international flavor, foodie trends predicted in the 24th edition of their flavor forecast include:

  • Sour Power: Acidic products are moving into the spotlight to open our senses, boost craveability, and even help "cook" without heat. Sour is revolutionizing recipes, delivering layers of exciting flavor to menus.
  • Thoughtfully Borrowed: Chefs are taking their own recipes and adding exotic spices and other elements to bring to mind the origins of the new ingredients and creating something new. Experimentation and inspiration are the keys to this trend.
  • Indulgence Redefined: Two themes are identified for this one—"newstalgic" and "food maximalism." Newstalgic brings back childhood favorites in a new, contemporary way, such as mini everything pizza bagels topped with feta cheese that conjure up memories of the '90s but with a 21st-century twist. Maximalism is exemplified by over-the-top combinations of multiple foods, as seen in 2023 in the pickle pizza frenzy or TikTok's ice cream fruit roll-up craze.

For a limited time, McCormick is offering a Tamarind and Pasilla Chile Blend to help introduce this taste to those new to it. You can also find recipes on McCormick's website that show you how to incorporate this creative combination into dips, salsas, sticky ribs, and even margaritas.

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