When you’re in the flavor business for 125 years, you learn a lot about food—and not just the rise and fall of favorite cuisines, changing flavor trends and home-cooking habits of five generations. You learn about the unique place flavor holds in people’s hearts, from a recipe passed down through generations to a memorable meal shared with great friends. Everyone has a flavor story, and each one is meaningful.
In 2014, McCormick celebrated 125 years leading the flavor industry, and you’ve inspired us every step of the way. This year, we asked you to share your own flavor story—and for each story shared via social channels or our McCormick websites, we pledged $1—up to $1.25 million total—to the United Way to help feed those in need.
Recipes, videos, and memories came pouring in. It was an inspiring, global celebration of flavor, and it introduced us to some incredible people, like Karen Burns of the United Kingdom.
As a young girl living in South Africa, she fell in love with the spices and culture. “I remember sitting outside on a rug in a suburb of Cape Town eating a large peach straight from the tree, the sweet juices running down my chin; later, we would then have enjoyed a plate of Cape Malay curry for a leisurely lunch, fragrant with a special Masala curry powder that my mother had learned to make from a neighbour.”
She continued, “The gentle heat and complexity of that meal is redolent of hot summer days and the vibrancy and colour of the local South African markets, and my memories are released like a genie from the bottle every time I open up a jar of curry powder now.”
We also learned about Charlize Azaubert, whose fondest memories of her childhood in France included spending time in the kitchen with her Mediterranean family. Her mother would spend hours in front of the stove preparing meals for the family, teaching her daughters to cook by example. “During the preparation of her dish, she makes me taste the sauce, and tries to make me guess the different spices used in the recipe. The tradition continues with my little sisters ever since!”
Growing up in New Orleans, Michael was a second-generation American whose family embraced their rich history of Creole cooking. He never lost that passion for savory foods full of tantalizing spices and aromas— and when he moved to southern Florida, he developed a powerful taste for local Latin flavors. “I can honestly say that my first memory of my Grandmother and Mom cooking was them using McCormick spices to season our meals. Now that I'm living in South Florida, I still pay homage to my native Cajun/Creole foods as well as all of the wonderful new Latin cuisine.”
Thousands of stories just like this have affirmed our appreciation for the flavor stories we’ve become a part of over the years—and they’re the perfect recipes to inspire our passion for the next 125 years.
We encourage you to continue sharing your flavor stories with us—on Twitter, Facebook, or through our American Homemade program.