The Pavlovian reflex would be to lick your lips given the number of food companies set to report their quarterly earnings this week. Between tomorrow's report from spice specialist McCormick (NYSE:MKC) and Thursday's broadcast from diversified giant ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), it should be quite the spread.

In theory, makers of grub should have it easy. We all have to eat, right? But while that often means steady production on the top line, all hell can break loose on the way to the bottom line. Everything from bucking commodity prices to shortages and oversupplies of raw materials can swing margins to and fro.

Of course, food makers deserve notice during their quarterly reports for another reason. Trends in food production can often bleed into everything from the restaurant sector to grocery store chains. Talk about a nontraditional food chain.

What's that? Wall Street can't live on bread earnings alone? Well, Linux warrior RedHat (NASDAQ:RHAT) and thrifty retailer Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) also produce their financials tomorrow. Footwear in all shapes, colors, and sizes will be showcased on Thursday when Vans (NASDAQ:VANS) and Stride Rite (NYSE:SRR) step up to the stage.

So enjoy the week in earnings that lies ahead -- and do something about that grumbling stomach of yours when you get the chance.

What magic can you work with McCormick spices? What's the perfect marinade? All this and more -- in the Recipes discussion board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can probably count a dozen ConAgra products in his kitchen right now. He does not own shares in any company mentioned in this story.