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Postcards from the Bench

From the Streets of Sichuan

June 2019 | Oscar, Associate Research Chef

As a perpetual flavor-seeking research chef, I often look for culinary inspiration from my travels. My favorite experience so far was eating my way through the Sichuan (aka Szechuan) region of China. Although I was somewhat familiar with Chinese cuisine, firsthand experience of unfamiliar regional tastes was invaluable to my culinary creativity. In the streets of Chengdu, the capital of the province, I found the best street food dish: Guo Kui. These are flaky, savory fried meat pies stuffed with chili peppers and Szechuan peppercorns. The tingly, numbing sourness of Szechuan peppercorns were the gastronomical highlight of the trip and inspired me to create our Brand Aromatics Szechuan Peppercorn Base.

To keep the integrity of the Szechuan peppercorns texture and flavor, we create a custom, minimally processed culinary blend to make this flavor base. The taste experience starts with an upfront lemony citrus note, followed by subtle black peppery nuances with garlic and onion notes, and ends with a mild tingling sensation.

This unique and authentic sensation can enhance both savory and sweet applications. Feature this flavor base in your next application from simple white rice or bone broth to more complex products like pulled proteins, meat pies, sauces and even sweet and savory cookies!

To incorporate the flavor of Szechuan into your next innovation, contact your McCormick account manager or contact us today.