What is food-pairing?

Food pairing describes the skilful combination of unusual or surprising flavours and foods. The result is a new, harmonious taste picture in which flavours are intensified and extended. Even the strong inherent flavour of a distinctive food, e.g. kohlrabi, can be harmonised with new components added to it, e.g. an apple.

What is important in food pairing?

The following factors determine whether a combination is convincing, or not:

– Aroma (flowery, earthy, nutty)

– Taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami – i.e. savoury, spicy, meaty)

– Texture (crispy, creamy, crunchy, etc.)

– Temperature (warm, cold)

Our sensory perceptions of smell (aroma), taste (flavour) and touch (texture, temperature) play a major role in food pairing. But the focus is clearly on aroma. Because it accounts for around eighty per cent of the taste experience, we must always take it into account when combining foods. The rule is: the more similar two products are in terms of their aroma, the better they go together.

If you don’t know exactly which flavours are similar, you can rely on the knowledge of researchers and IT experts: In the meantime, there are not only various studies on food pairing, but also many software-based tools. On the Foodpairing® website, for example, you can discover numerous ideas for newly paired delicacies.

In contrast to aroma, taste is about combining opposites: sweet-sour or sweet-salty promises a more interesting experience than sweet-sweet. The same goes for texture and temperature. Ice cream and coffee, yoghurt and amaretti: why not try a dish by combining creamy with crunchy or hot with cool? By the way: how a food tastes also depends on how it is prepared. Whether raw, steamed, baked or fried, you can put together new creations from this point of view as well.

Train your sense of taste and smell every day. Be brave and try out new and unusual combinations – you will certainly be rewarded with some unique food adventures.

What do you think of the following liaisons?

Pear with blue cheese, fennel with citrus, aubergine with fresh goat’s cheese and pomegranate, Camembert with peach, or watermelon with feta? Set no limits to your imagination.

Here are some delicious food pairing recipes with Hermesetas:

Kohlrabi-Apple Carpaccio
Pear Chutney
Carrot salad with sultanas and curry
Cucumber-Avocado Salad with Grapefruit and Smoked Salmon
Lemon and squash loaf with turmeric