2013 Flavour Forecast

I am delighted to have been given a sneak preview of the McCormick (that’s Schwartz for those in the UK) 2013 Flavour Forecast. The Flavour Forecast is a look into their world of flavour and an insight into emerging trends over the next few years.


As you know, I am all about the spice and these guys are one of the biggest players in the market, so it has been fascinating to see what trends they are predicting. With brands in over 100 countries, including Australia, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and North America, they are in a good place to look at what trends and ingredients will be emerging over the next 3-5 years.

For their latest forecast they have identified 5 key trends that are then broken down into two different flavour combinations – think big guys, they have been bold!

The 5 trends are:

  1. No Apologies Necessary – making meals that remind you of somewhere exotic
  2. Personally Handcrafted – every home cook’s own signature dish
  3. Empowered Eating – making food work for you through healthy choices
  4. Hidden Potential – getting the most out of every part of every ingredient
  5. Global My Way – using an ethnic ingredient in a truly local manner

The associated flavour combinations are

  1. No Apologies Necessary
    1. Bitter Chocolate, Sweet Basil and Passion Fruit
    2. Black Rum, Charred Orange and Allspice
  2. Personally Handcrafted
    1. Cider, Sage and Molasses
    2. Smoked Tomato, Rosemary, Chilli Peppers and Sweet Onion
  3. Empowered Eating
    1. Farro Grain, Blackberry and Cove
    2. Broccoli and Dukkah
  4. Hidden Potential
    1. Hearty Meat Cuts, Plantain and Cinnamon
    2. Artichoke, Paprika and Hazelnut
  5. Global My Way
    1. Anise and Cajeta
    2. Japanese Katsu and Oregano

As you can see from their combinations they are bold, relevant and, in some cases, quite out there. I was thrilled to see a mainstream brand offering such unusual flavour combinations. Who would have thought of bringing back an ancient grain – Farro, and pairing it with the humble blackberry and warming cloves. These combinations will go on to be replicated by home cooks and industry experts alike.


One of my favourite trends was No Apologies Necessary. I constantly travel for work and when I get home to my tiny apartment I like to recreate the exotic food I have eaten to bring the sunshine back into EC2. I loved the nod to the Caribbean, with the combination of black rum, charred orange and allspice. I can imagine this on sticky chicken wings, bbq’d fish or in a mighty fine cocktail.


Empowered Eating sums up my philosophy on food – I love to eat things that are healthy without meaning to be, so my food choices work for me. Spices are a great basis for this as they are naturally high in flavour and contain no fat. I love dukkah, an Egyptian blend made from ground nuts and spices. It works beautifully on meat, fish and vegetables. I liked the addition of broccoli that brought this exotic seasoning back to somewhere we all recognise. I can imagine a huge piece of lamb covered generously in the dukkah mix, roasted until tender and served with mountains of broccoli and couscous.


Over the next few weeks I will be using the 2013 Flavour Forecast to create some of my own original recipes for you to try at home.

What do you think of these 2013 trends? Is their anything they have missed out? Let me know @mightyspice


Super Fast Moroccan Prawn Couscous

This super fast prawn couscous is my take on a classic Moroccan couscous dish, with a bit of a pilaf vibe thrown into the mix. The recipe is perfect for a delicious mid week supper. It uses lots of store cupboard ingredients so you can whip it up in no time. Some onion, garlic and spices fried off, then couscous and prawns, both of which cook really fast, are thrown in and finished off with a shower of almonds and pumpkin seeds.

I have been known to get such bad Hanger (No this is not a spelling mistake. It is an actual word – fact! Hunger and Anger together at last – Hanger!) that I have made the recipe in under 10 minutes using cooked prawns!

I hope you enjoy this wicked little recipe as much as I do – let me know what you think.

Serves 2

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, roughly sliced
2 cloves garlic, roughly sliced
3 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 dry chilli, broken into 4 pieces
60g/21⁄4oz/1⁄3 cup couscous
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
250g/9oz raw peeled king prawns
1 preserved lemon, pith removed and skin finely sliced
1 tbsp. tomato puree
1 tbsp. flaked almonds
1 tbsp.  pumpkin seeds
Sea salt

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until just turning soft. Chuck in the garlic, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cumin seeds and dry chilli. Mix well and cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.

2. Meanwhile pour the couscous into a mixing bowl and sprinkle in the cinnamon powder and good pinch of salt. Mix well to avoid getting clumps of cinnamon in the couscous.

3. Tip the prawns, preserved lemon skin and tomato puree into the pan with the onion. Mix everything together really well and scatter in the couscous. Pour over 90ml/3fl oz/generous 1/3 cup of just boiled water, give a good mix, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently for 6-7 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked through and the couscous has absorbed all the liquid. Remove the lid and cook for another 1-2 minutes so that the couscous can dry out.

4. To serve the dish, fluff the couscous using a fork and divide between 2 serving plates. Scatter over the almonds and pumpkins seeds and serve immediately.

– All thoughts and spelling mistakes are mine –

What Liberty Ate

I wanted to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Gabriela Iancu who has done a wicked feature on me and my book Mighty Spice Cookbook in the FALL/WINTER of her lovely magazine What Liberty Ate – Check it out. The magazine is beautiful, packed full of her delicious recipes and superb photography.