Did you know there’s a whole, real, science behind pairing food flavors? It’s true. There is a “Foodpairing Method.” Due to this method, seemingly odd pairs can combine to make a wonderful dish. When you were putting chips into your PB & J as a child, maybe you were actually conducting a science experiment.
The goal of the Foodpairing Method is to chart all possible food pairings. This helps restaurants and chefs create one-of-a-kind dishes. The process involves taking each ingredient’s volatile compounds, or the aromas, and getting them to a highly concentrated state. The concentrations are then matched with other similar compounds. When flavors are taken to that level, seemingly odd combinations can become compatible.
One of the latest “scientifically proven” combinations is Parmesan cheese and dark chocolate. Testers put the two ingredients into a grilled cheese sandwich to prove their theory. The salty and savory flavor of the Parmesan, bold in taste and low in calories, paired wonderfully with the deep flavor of dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao for heart healthy benefits. Testers even noted that the chocolate brought out fruity, tart notes from the cheese.
Thanks to this science culinary artists have come up with pairs like white chocolate and caviar, good ‘ol salt and pepper, sweet and sour chicken, gruyère cheese and Fuji apples, chocolate avocado cupcakes, black bean brownies, chili powder and mango, salt and vinegar chips, or strawberries with balsamic vinegar. In most cases, healthy foods find other healthy foods and provide the diner with an incomparable flavor that you could never find in junk food.
Here are some of the finest, albeit odd, recipes created from the official Foodpairing Method:
Almond Cookie with mozzarella, fig and dry cured ham.
Gazpacho of watermelon and raspberry with smoked eel and lemon verbena.
Chicken, Caprice des Dieux with bacon and broccoli.