Every year the spice/herbs/seasoning company McCormick attempts to identify "emerging flavors" in an annual forecast. Of course, these will ultimately be flavors they sell. Still, the idea is provocative. Can anyone really define "holiday flavors" and, if so, do they change from year to year? Or are they, by definition, fixed? And what cultural variations exist?
You can read how McCormick has organized their findings in a press release. Better yet, I'd love to hear what you think. Below, I've started my own list of fundamental holiday flavors, spices, and ingredients that evoke winter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Christmas (sweet and savory). Some of these choices are obvious: Pumpkins now sit on many Brooklyn brownstone stoops reminding me how much I love pumpkin pie (and seeds). But even cocktail and beer lists get seasonal: On Saturday, I had a minty Gin Gin Mule at a restaurant called Botanica in Red Hook, followed by a Hitachino White Ale, which seemed to have ginger, orange and nutmeg in its complex bouquet.
Note: I don't get that wash of holiday cheer at the mere mention of peanut-brittle, fruit cake, or hazelnut. But maybe you do. So, what are the key holiday flavors in your home?
My Holidays Flavors:
by James Oliver Cury
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