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McCormick® Flavor Forecast™ 2009: Holiday Edition Names Five Ultimate Flavor Pairings for the Season

HUNT VALLEY, Md. (October 15, 2009) – Think ginger combined with molasses only means gingerbread cookies during the holidays? Think again. According to the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2009: Holiday Edition, expect to see America’s favorite holiday flavors used in new ways to reflect the latest baking trends. McCormick spotlights five definitive flavor pairings that instantly evoke the essence of the holidays, then deconstructs classic desserts and puts them back together in playful variations.

“We’re putting a spin on holiday sweets this year,” said Kevan Vetter, Executive Chef at McCormick. “By looking at timeless holiday flavors and the latest trends, such as nostalgic desserts, regional influences and restaurant-inspired small-bite indulgences, we have transformed celebratory favorites into contemporary seasonal treats.”  

Here are the top flavor pairings according to the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2009: Holiday Edition.

  • Ginger & Molasses - The duo behind timeless gingerbread is cleverly reinvented from a childhood classic into contemporary goodies for all ages.
  • Warm Spices & Pumpkin – The aromatic blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice unites with creamy pumpkin to inspire remakes of its namesake pie.
  • Peppermint & Chocolate – This refreshing yet sweet combination comes together in everything from a festive martini to a chocolate tart.
  • Vanilla & Red Food Color – The lush, alluring flavor of vanilla and the joyous hue of red transform the show-stopping qualities of red velvet cake into updated indulgences.
  • Nutmeg & Rum – The unforgettable essence of eggnog comes out of the punch bowlas inspired treats from breakfast to the dessert table.

Though the flavors may be familiar, updated recipes invigorate these classic pairings. Spicy and tangy Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Crème are a playful take on timeless gingerbread. Chocolate Tarts with Peppermint Crème are like tiny presents for the mouth, filled with cool mint and silky chocolate. And, packing all the warm flavors of the definitive holiday beverage into bite-sized treats, the essentials of eggnog converge as Eggnog Truffles.

Regionally and classically inspired Americana also pays a visit to holiday tables this season. Everyone will welcome Caramel Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars, a modern rendition of the classic pie. And, in need of no introduction, Red Velvet Cheesecake packs all the drama of the Southern centerpiece dessert in a decadent modern package.

Infuse the Season’s Special Flavors into Everyday Occasions 
Make the season bright and flavorful by decorating each day with festive flavors. Try these easy and delicious ideas:

  • Convert a traditional sugar cookie to a nutmeg spice cookie by adding Ground Nutmeg to the dough before baking. Top baked cookies with cream cheese frosting enhanced with a few drops of Rum Extract.
  • Crush peppermint candies in a small bowl or food processor. Melt semi-sweet Chocolate in a sauce pan, cool slightly and flavor with a few drops of Peppermint Extract. Dip one half of a large marshmallow into the melted mint chocolate and then in the peppermint pieces. Place on parchment to dry. Serve on a festive candy platter or float in a cup of hot cocoa.
  • Transform vanilla milkshakes into a taste of the season. Add a generous spoonful of Pumpkin puree and a dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice to vanilla ice cream and milk to create a smooth ice cream treat.

For recipes, tips and more information on the Holiday Flavor Forecast visit


About the Flavor Forecast
For nearly a decade, McCormick has identified emerging flavors through an annual forecast. This year, McCormick has taken an in-depth look at favorite holiday sweets through the lens of the latest culinary trends and proposed new interpretations for the holiday dessert table.

About McCormick
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. McCormick was founded in 1889 in Baltimore, Maryland. Today it is a global leader in the sale of spices, herbs and seasonings. McCormick sources high quality ingredients from far-reaching destinations to bring a world of flavors to consumers.

Laurie Harrsen

Jennifer Walsh
Weber Shandwick

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