Spice Up the Holidays

| 10/15/2009 1:02:51 PM

Jean TellerSeveral years ago, my role as GRIT food editor took me to Baltimore. I was covering the National Chicken Cooking Contest, and that’s another story.

Part of the agenda for media representatives, though, was a trip to the headquarters of McCormick & Co. We heard staff members talk about spices, how they’re gathered, how the company decides which spices to purchase in raw form and sell to us consumers, and about the company in general. It was an informative trip, and one I enjoyed immensely. It didn’t hurt that we each received a great gift bag with bottles of spices, some of which still reside in my cupboard.

I was reminded of the trip today when a press release from McCormick hit my e-mail inbox – an intriguing press release, in my opinion.

McCormick offers an annual forecast to identify emerging flavors, taking a closer look at traditional favorites around the holidays and coming up with new takes on those dishes. According to the press release: “With an extensive network of researchers, trend experts, chefs, home economists, food technologists, and sensory analysts, McCormick & Company, Inc. keeps its finger on the pulse of flavor.”

Founded in 1889 in Baltimore (headquarters are now in Sparks, Maryland, a northern suburb), the company definitely knows its spices. I would guess you can find a McCormick representative or grower in just about every corner of the world.

So, this year, the Flavor Forecast: Holiday Edition lists five pairings for the season. Keep an open mind – these just may be what you’re looking for to spice up (pun intended) that holiday feast you’re already planning.

Brenda Kipp_1
10/20/2009 4:10:42 PM

Oh, Jean! These recipes look divine! I can't wait to try them. I've always liked peppermint paired with chocolate. Yum!! The nutmeg and rum combo reminds me of a jello recipe I started making several years ago for Christmas. It's a lemon and lime layered jello with whipped topping, rum flavoring and nutmeg. It's really good!

Jean Teller_1
10/20/2009 3:54:11 PM

Dave, the McCormick site contains a lot of great recipes. I'm more than a little envious of cooks who can scratch cook like your wife. My mom can do that too, and while I usually eventually change recipes, I have to follow it to the letter when I make a dish for the first time. I'd like to learn more about spices one of these days. Vicki, the recipes do sound good. The cheesecake might be something I'll try - tho they all sound great. Let us know how they recipes worked for you, if you would - pretty please. :) Thanks for stopping by!

10/17/2009 10:01:00 PM

Jean, I can't wait to give those spice combinations a try. Then the recipes look just look so good! It does make you want to get started baking right now. vickie

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