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Chef's Notes

Floral & Herbal Plus Sweet


As we move away from overly sweet and improvise on reducing sugar, there is experimentation and fluidity in what it means to be “sweet”—whether expressed as a no rules, layered approach in ice cream or salad—sweet notes are intermingled with other flavors. Rethink the flavor of your sweet applications by cuing freshness with the addition of bright floral and herbal profiles.


The Taste:

Dive into the world of aromatic, herbal, and sometimes perfumed notes that most beautifully complement sweet bases. A hint of hibiscus or rose here or thyme there. These ingredients signal freshness, lightness, and brightness. Wonderful on their own, they become otherworldly combined with sweet elements in cocktails and mocktails, teas, baked goods, desserts, and more.


The following chef creations offer inspiration for floral and herbal with unexpected sweetness:


Herbal, Spiced, Smoky + Sweet

When asked to create a lower sugar, yet full flavor dessert, Chef Hadar met the challenge by relying on herbal, spiced, and smoky flavors. Her Unexpected Ice Cream includes hickory liquid smoke and black pepper for a deeper, not-as-sweet ice cream. Served in a rosemary scone, the sandwich makes an unexpected bite!     


Floral, Salty + Sweet

A cheese foam topped tea is inspired by the Asian drink now making appearances on social media and US menus. The Sweet Cheese Tea our chefs developed blends earl grey tea with honey and cardamom, then gets topped with a salty cream cheese foam.  It sounds totally unexpected, but it is totally delicious with floral notes from the tea and cardamom, and salty cheese.

Apply it:

  • Rely on floral profiles like lavender and elderflower to cue freshness and sophistication.
  • Add herbal notes like rosemary and basil to bars, cookies, and other baked goods.
  • Incorporating unexpected combinations like cardamom + early grey, peach + thyme, and cider, sage + maple will set products apart. 

Feeling inspired? To learn more about the future of flavor, contact your McCormick account representative or contact us today.