HUNT VALLEY, MD. — Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning is the flavor of the year for 2023, according to McCormick & Co. The company unveiled its inaugural flavor of the year alongside its annual Flavor Forecast trends report.
Nearly four dozen chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers and food technologists contributed to the report. It spotlights three predictions for flavor trends in the year ahead.
The first trend is “Full Flavored Fats,” which refers to consumers and chefs using butter and oil to impart flavor and creaminess into everyday dishes and drinks. The second trend, “Everyday French,” points to the democratization of ingredients and techniques used in French cuisine. The third trend is “Beyond Heat.” It refers to multi-sensorial and layered taste experiences that push beyond the singularly spicy realm to shape how heat is perceived and how long it lingers and finishes.
McCormick’s Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning reflects all three trends. With influences in French cuisine and a prominence of heat throughout both, the seasoning is a “culture crush” of key ingredients, including cayenne and paprika in classic Cajun tradition and lemongrass, garlic and black peppercorn customary in Vietnamese recipes, according to the report.
“This year, McCormick is rolling out its most intriguing Flavor Forecast report yet, unveiling key trends that will shape the way that consumers prepare and enjoy foods for the next year,” said Kevan Vetter, executive chef and senior director of culinary for McCormick. “With the inaugural flavor of the year, McCormick is demonstrating the culinary masterpiece that emerges when cuisines are combined.”
The company brought its flavor of the year to consumers through a limited-time partnership with national restaurant chain Smashburger, offering an assortment of milkshakes, wings and tater tots made with the seasoning at a location in New York in early December. It also is venturing into Decentraland, an area of the metaverse powered by blockchain, to launch “House of Flavor by McCormick” on Dec. 13. The virtual destination will offer an immersive experience where visitors can discover Vietnamese Cajun dishes and interact with content featuring some of the chefs who inspired the flavor.