You probably think of McCormick as the company that’s bottling the spices on every standard grocery store shelf. But the flavor behemoth does so much more than sling seasonings to the home cook — they also manufacture flavorings for commercial use, making them an authority on food trends. In collaboration with nearly four dozen global chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers, food technologists and team members from around the world, McCormick has released the 23rd edition of its Flavor Forecast and introduced its inaugural Flavor of the Year: Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning.
Viet-Cajun cuisine has been popular in cities like Orlando and Houston for decades, but we’ve recently seen restaurants serving its signature crawfish dishes and other delicacies popping up all over the country — hence why McCormick has named Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning the top flavor of 2023, with the release of a corresponding bottled spice mix. The mix includes cayenne and paprika, which have roots in the Cajun tradition, as well as lemongrass, garlic and black peppercorn, aromatics often found in Vietnamese cuisine. McCormick has partnered with chefs Trong Nguyen of Crawfish and Noodles in Houston and Cesar Zapata of Phuc Yea in Miami to create content inspired by the flavor of the year, which users can interact with via an immersive virtual destination launching on December 13.
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In addition to Viet-Cajun fare, McCormick has predicted a few more culinary trends to watch out for in 2023:
Full-Flavored Fats: High-fat diets have been trending for years. But silly fads aside, people are no longer scared of using oils and animal fats in their cooking to add a balanced richness and full flavor to their favorite dishes.
Everyday French: You don’t need a culinary school degree or to know the five mother sauces by heart for this one. While still based in classic techniques and using the best ingredients possible, everyday French cooking democratizes the process so everyone can feel a little like Escoffier when they step up to the stove. Time to get familiar with mise en place if you’re not already.
Beyond Heat: We love our hot sauces, but this trend is more about full flavor profiles and layered seasonings that will elevate even the most basic dishes — think yuzu kosho, salsa macha and seeni sambol.
You can read more about McCormick’s predictions in the Flavor Forecast.
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