For many years now the McCormick/HEIA Recipe Challenge has been an annual highlight for the McCormick team. They have been thrilled to partner with HEIA on this rewarding challenge. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought numerous challenges to businesses in all industries, including McCormick. The national and international resources they would normally provide for this challenge have now had to be redirected to other areas of their business.

While McCormick can’t run the Flavour Forecast Challenge in its entirety for 2020, they have developed some Flavour Forecast resources for teachers to use in physical or virtual classrooms and in their own recipe challenges, should they wish to develop them.

At a national level HEIA is working towards developing our own mini Flavour Forecast recipe challenge, which will be available of the HEIA national website.

The resources provided by McCormick include

  • backgrounds on the two most recent Flavour Forecast trends:
    • Refresh. Replenish. Rehydrate.
    • Sauced & Spiced.
  • Flavour Forecast recipes and recipe inspirations for both of these trends
  • files containing printable tasting posters that could also be laminated for use as placemats
  • activities, tips, uses etc. that incorporate the tasting posters.

McCormick has made these resources available to HEIA. Some of these are presented in the pages that follow. We hope you will find them useful in your teaching. These resources will also be available on the new HEIA(Q) website, along with further resources from McCormick. The HEIA national website will also provide resources to support the 2020 Challenge.

The other good news is that, while McCormick cannot run the full challenge in 2020, the company has already begun planning its 2021 Flavour Forecast Challenge. It will be allocating additional funds and resources to make sure the 2021 challenge is bigger and better than ever!

Here are some tips for using the Culinary Tasting Posters

1. How to use the Tasting Posters

Print out the Tasting Posters individually and laminate them for table placemats.

2. Super tasting skills

Taste a range of typical sauces in your home and note the characteristics of Aroma, Appearance, Taste and Texture. Ideas—tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, ice cream toppings.

3. What’s the difference?

Taste two varieties of the same food product and note the differences between them.

4. Match a word

Choose characteristics from the tasting posters to focus on and list ingredients or foods that demonstrate them.

5. Get your family involved

Use the posters as a starting point for ‘Table Talk’. Over dinner, discuss with your family what you are tasting and your family what you are tasting and how the aromas and visual elements influence the meal.

Craft Mocktails:

Blueberry Vanilla ‘Lemonade’ Shaved Ice Mocktail

10 Servings

  • 2 cups (500 mL) water
  • 1 ½ cups chopped celery
  • 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup (125 mL) calamansi juice (1 part fresh orange juice with 3 parts lemon juice)
  • 6 tbsp light agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp McCormick® Ginger, Ground
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 10 cups shaved ice
  • sliced lemon
  • fresh mint leaves, extra
  1. Place all ingredients except ice in a blender container; cover. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  2. Place 1 cup of shaved ice in a beverage glass. Pour ½ cup of the Blueberry Lemonade mixture over top. Garnish with a twist of lemon and mint leaves. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Nourishing Treats:

Blackberry sweet potato ice pops

14 Servings


Equipment- 14 popsicle moulds or small paper cups and popsicle sticks or straws

  • 1 ½ cups (about 1 medium) sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries, divided
  • 2 cups (500 mL) orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp light agave nectar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
  1. Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover. Cook in simmering water about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well; allow to cool 5 minutes.
  2. Place sweet potatoes, 2 cups of the blackberries and remaining ingredients into blender container. Cover. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. (If desired, strain mixture with sieve to remove seeds.)
  3. Divide mixture between 14 popsicle moulds or small paper cups, filling about ⅔ of the way full. Add a few fresh blackberries to each mould gently pressing into sweet potato mixture.
  4. Freeze 30 minutes or until mixture just begins to set. Insert popsicle sticks or colourful straws into centre of each mould. Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight, until completely set.

A New Creamy Cool:

Mango lassi bars

36 Servings

  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and flesh cut into 2cm chunks (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) coconut cream
  • 2 x sachets (7 g each) unflavoured gelatine
  • 1 ½ cups plain full-fat Greek style yoghurt
  • 250 g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Cardamom, Ground
  • ¾ tsp McCormick® Turmeric Powder, Ground
  • ½ tsp McCormick® Ginger, Ground
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup (3 tbsp) honey
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios, lightly toasted
  1. Microwave mangoes on HIGH 2 ½ minutes or until softened. Place in food processor or blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Place coconut cream in medium microwavable bowl and sprinkle gelatine evenly over surface of cream. Beat with a wire whisk until well blended and gelatine is completely dissolved. Let mixture stand 5 minutes to allow gelatine to bloom*. Microwave on HIGH 1 ½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and allow mixture to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, beat yogurt and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. (If using stand mixer, fit with wire whisk attachment.) Stir in mango puree, vanilla, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, salt and honey. Beat for a further 1 minute. Gradually add coconut cream mixture to yogurt mixture, beating until well blended.
  4. Pour mixture into an ungreased 33 x 22 -cm baking dish or pan deep enough to hold mixture. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until completely set. Cut into rectangular bars, about 5 cm x 2.5 cm.
  5. Mix toasted coconut and pistachios in shallow dish. Dip Mango Lassi Bars in mixture to coat evenly on all sides. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Vegetarian XO sauce

12 Servings
First created in Hong Kong, XO sauce is the iconic condiment. Meant to impress, it is known to be a luxury blend typically made with dried shrimp and scallops, Chinese dry-cured ham, garlic and various chillies. It is a umami-packed condiment that has it all—savoury, smoky, sweet, spicy and salty. This vegetarian version features a cast of ingredients to create the craveable savouriness that traditional XO sauce is known for. Toss it into eggs, then scramble or roast vegetables or dress up a stir-fry. The list of uses for this unique sauce are endless.

  • 100 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and halved
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) vegetable oil, divided
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp (20 mL) honey
  • 1 ½ tsp McCormick® Chilli Flakes
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Ginger, Ground
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Paprika, Smoked
  • ½ tsp McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
  • ¼ tsp McCormick® Cumin, Ground
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  1. Place mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor; cover and pulse until coarsely chopped. Remove from food processor; set aside. Place garlic and shallot into food processor bowl; cover and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Heat ⅓ cup (80 mL) of the oil in large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic mixture. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add mushrooms, soy sauce, honey, spices, salt and remaining ⅓ cup oil. Continue cooking and stirring for 7 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
  3. Store Vegetarian XO Sauce in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

West African suya spice blend

12 Servings

Makes ¾ cup

Suya Spice Blend is a staple seasoning in West Africa, especially in Nigerian cuisine. It is a flavourful dry rub typically made with a base of crushed or powdered peanuts and spices like ginger and cayenne. The nutty, fragrant blend is commonly used as a dry rub to season beef and chicken skewers, but is also great for lamb and fish. It can also be used in marinades, sauces and dressings, or with roasted vegetables.

  • ½ cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Paprika, Smoked
  • ½ tsp McCormick® Chilli Flakes
  • ½ tsp McCormick® Ginger, Ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Place all ingredients in small bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground, crumbly and well blended.
  2. Store Spice Blend in an airtight container in refrigerator.

West African suya sauce

10 servings
Whisk together 3/4 cup (180 mL) coconut milk and 2 tb (40 mL) honey until well blended. Add the ingredients above for West African suya spice blend and continue whisking until well blended.

Gunpowder spice (Milagai podi)

48 Servings
Its official name is Milagai Podi, which translates to chilli powder. However, ‘Gunpowder’ is the name most commonly used by South Indian food fans. It is a dry condiment made from roasted dahl (lentils), sesame seeds, chillies, cumin, coriander, and other spices. Grind it smoothly and vary the amount of chillies to take this blend from medium to spicy heat levels. Use it to season steamed rice and roasted or grilled vegetables. Sprinkle on chicken, fish, shrimp or paneer both before and after cooking for an adventure your taste buds won’t forget.

  • ½ tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chana dal, (split baby chickpeas, Indian grocers)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed
  • 1 ½ tsp McCormick® Chilli Flakes
  • ½ tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Cumin, Ground
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Coriander, Ground
  • ½ tsp McCormick® Black Pepper, Ground
  • ½ tsp McCormick® Cardamom, Ground
  • ¼ tsp McCormick® Ground Turmeric
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Heat oil in medium pan over a medium heat. Add chana dal, sesame seed, chilli flakes and mustard seed. Cook, stirring constantly, about 3 to 4 minutes until lightly toasted, the dahl is coloured and the mixture fragrant. Remove from heat; stir in remaining spices and salt. Spread mixture on a large plate and allow to cool completely.
  2. Carefully transfer seasoning mixture to an electric coffee/ spice grinder. Grind until finely ground. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Download the resource files