Flavor Forecast 2013 {Cajeta Sauce}

I am honored to work with the friendly people at McCormick to introduce this year’s flavor forecast! If you’re like me and never heard of a flavor forecast, let me explain.

The Flavor Forecast is an annual look at future of flavor that will be a catalyst for innovation in food and moving once-edgy ingredients into mainstream popularity. Without further adieu, here are the 2013 Flavor Forecast trends:

  1. No Apologies Necessary
    Diving head first into sumptuous flavors to enjoy the gratification of a momentary escape. With flavor combinations like:

    • Chocolate, Basil and Passion Fruit
    • Black Rum, Charred Orange and All Spice
  2. Personally Handcrafted
    A hands-on approach to showcasing the best of ourselves. With flavor combinations like:

    • Cider, Sage and Molasses
    • Smoked Tomato, Rosemary, Chili Peppers and Sweet Onion
  3. Empowered Eating
    Creating health and wellness harmony through a highly personalized, flexible approach. With flavor combinations like:

    • Farro Grain, Blackberry and Clove
    • Broccoli and Dukkah
  4. Hidden Potential
    A waste-not mentality, uncovering the fullest flavors from every last part of the ingredient. With flavor combinations like:

    • Meat, Plantain and Cinnamon
    • Artichoke, Paprika and Hazelnut
  5. Global My Way
    Discovering the unlimited flavor possibilities of global ingredients, beyond traditional roles in ‘ethnic’ cuisines. With flavor combinations like:

    • Anise and Cajeta
    • Katsu sauce and oregano

All of the trends sound quite interesting to me, but the two that stick out to me the most are Personally Handcrafted and Empowered Eating. It just makes the most sense that for me, making things from scratch and making them healthier is just who I am. It’s like these two trends were made for me! I love the idea of everyone having the tools to make what tastes good to them, for themselves and making it healthier. 

I got a chance to Skype with Chef Mark Garcia to talk about the flavor forecast that he helped develop and just have fun talking about our favorite flavors from the forecast! To tell you the truth, any time I think of chefs, I think of these mean and bossy people who are so serious and uptight, but Chef Mark really made me feel right at home. He was so kind, knowledgeable and easy to talk to! He even got me over my fear of cooking mussels. That’s my foodie challenge of the week, by the way. Watch out world, what will I cook next!?! 😉

While talking to Chef Mark and in an unexpected twist, a recipe that really caught my eye is from the Global My Way trend, using the flavor combination of anise seed and cajeta, the mexican caramel sauce. Yeah, I know. It’s only fitting that the girl with the sweet tooth makes something with a homemade caramel sauce. 😉

Stay tuned for my next post where I put this cajeta sauce to good use!

Cajeta Sauce

slightly adapted from McCormick



  1. On medium-hight heat, bring the goat milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks, anise seed, and baking soda to a boil in a 6 quart Dutch Oven or large pot, stirring often.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the head to medium and let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until it is a rich golden brown in color and coats the back of your spoon.
  3. Strain the sauce in a strainer covered in a layer of cheesecloth, to catch all of the anise seeds and cinnamon sticks.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Let sit until it comes to room temperature.
  6. Cover and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Note: Makes 1 3/4 cup of cajeta

This post was sponsored by McCormick, but all opinions are my own.


  1. These flavor combinations sound interesting. A couple I would not do, but everyone’s taste is different.

    My mom made the best caramels when I was young. As a family, we don’t eat that much sweets now, but this cajeta sauce looks very intriguing.

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