Once a year, the spicy folks at McCormick publish their gorgeous Flavor Forecast, in which they--you guessed it--predict which flavors will be hot in the coming year.
If flavors were traded on an exchange like stocks, I'd invest with McCormick & Co. 10 times of 10, because the Maryland-based firm pretty much decides what flavors are available to the mass market in the first place. So if they say cayenne is gonna be huge, I'd go long red pepper.
In fact, at the dawn of 2009, McCormick did say cayenne was going to be huge, particularly in conjunction with tart cherry. The olfactory oracles also predicted this to be the year of toasted sesame & root beer; tarragon & beetroot; peppercorn & sake; five spice & artisan-cured pork; dill & avocado oil; rosemary & fruit preserves; garam masala & pepitas; mint & quinoa and smoked paprika & agave nectar.
Twenty O'Nine is already on the wane, and I can't say I've stumbled across any of those pairings yet in Nashville restaurants, though I have seen a marked uptick in many of the individual ingredients listed, including beets, pork, quinoa, smoked paprika and agave nectar.
Can anyone testify to McCormick's predictive powers in Nashville restaurants or beyond?