McCormick's 2024 Flavor Of The Year Is Coming Up Tamarind

If you've been wondering what kind of flavors 2024 will have in store, McCormick has the answer. Every year, the brand presents spice lovers with a Flavor Forecast, which highlights future food trends and where the culinary world is headed. To kick off 2024, the 24th Edition of the Flavor Forecast has arrived, and according to a press release, the flavor has officially been confirmed: The 2024 Flavor of the Year is tamarind.

If you don't know what tamarind is or what it tastes like, you have plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the spice before New Year's rolls around. Tamarind, which is native to Africa but can also be found throughout India and the Middle East, comes from a fruit that looks a bit like a pea pod. While it may look unfamiliar to you, chances are you've tasted it before. The flavor itself is sweet yet tart and a bit acidic, like molasses, caramel, or brown sugar mixed with lemon or lime.

Executive Chef and Senior Manager of Culinary Development at McCormick, Hadar Cohen Aviram, who was charged with choosing the Flavor of the Year, told CNN, "All of those trends that we saw this year, we see them projected through this one flavor." She added, "We're looking at what's trending, that is the key, but knowing when it's the right time and when the chef starts featuring that [flavor] ... that's when we know that it's coming up."

How to celebrate the Flavor of the Year

If you're looking for ways to celebrate the Flavor of the Year in 2024, you have plenty of options. McCormick is introducing Tamarind & Pasilla Chile Seasoning, which you can order online now through McCormick's website. This limited-time-only spice combines tamarind with pasilla chiles and dashes of coriander, paprika, and onion. Those looking to taste the spice might try it in sauces, use it to season meats, or add it to anything in need of sweet, salty spiciness.

For those who prefer to dine out, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer will offer various tamarind-focused menu items starting in February 2024 for a limited time. As Aviram explained in the press release, "This year, we're thrilled for people to experience the taste, versatility and tang of Tamarind. It is the perfect ingredient to incorporate in savory and sweet dishes which is evident through the creative, flavorful, limited-time dishes we are proudly co-developing with Black Tap." Whether you choose to dine out or eat in throughout 2024, there's a chance you'll be eating even more tamarind than usual.