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Postcards from the Bench

Flavors of North Africa

November 2019 | Marissa, Applications Scientist

Lost for ideas for innovation?  Consider a tour across North Africa for inspiration. You can go on a journey of authentic tastes beginning with Ras el Hanout, the Moroccan seasoning that typically blends cinnamon, cumin, black and red peppers and turmeric. Or try Harissa, the Tunisian/Moroccan fiery pepper paste blend of roasted red peppers, spicy chilies and warm spices.

Can’t travel Africa but need to move fast?  No worries!  We’ve translated these spice blends into versatile compound and reaction flavors so genuine your taste buds will think they’ve made the trip. Now you can replicate the treasure trove of flavors from Morocco, Tunisia and other North African regions while delivering uniform color and consistent flavor without particulates or bitter off-notes from cooking actual herbs.

To test the versatility of these North African flavors, I started playing with some recipes. One of my favorite creations was a Ras el Hanout tomato jam - a next-generation Moroccan ‘ketchup’-type condiment that was dip-worthy and delicious. You wouldn’t believe the sweet tanginess, notes of warming spices and heat.

Another favorite of mine was a delightful hummus with Harissa flavor. All I can say is … wow! Imagine traditional hummus notes topped with the complexity of fiery roasted chili, roasted red pepper, tomato and spice notes. Incredible!

And the journey doesn’t have to stop there. You can try our North African flavors in everything from sauces, condiments, dressings and dips to salty snacks and marinades.

To apply these popular North African profiles to your next innovation, contact your McCormick account manager or contact us today.