TGRWT #12: Chanterelle and apricot

Tri-2-cook has announced the foods to pair in the twelfth round of “They go really well together” (or TGRWT for short): apricot and chanterelle. More information on how to participate can be found in the announcement post. If the ingredients are out of season where you live, remember that you can use ingredients that are dried, canned or preserved. The heating and/or air exposure can of course alter the flavor composition, but it’s still worth giving it a try.

Regarding the chemistry behind this flavor pairing I’ve found the following. Based on quantitative measurements Greger and Schieberle identified 18 compounds with odor activity values (OAVs) greater than 1 in apricot (Prunus armeniaca). I have not been able to locate any studies of chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) with OAV values, but there are a couple of articles which list volatile compounds. Comparing these lists with the OAV data for apricots there is not much overlap. The only compounds which had an OAV > 1 in apricots and were also found in chanterelle are 1-octen-3-one (OAV in apricot = 55) and hexanal (OAV in apricot = 15) shown in the figure below.

It’s interesting to note that OAV studies often come with certain surprises regarding flavor compounds. As Greger and Schieberle point out in their abstract:

certain lactones, often associated with an apricot aroma note, such as gamma-undecalactone, gamma-nonalactone, and delta-decalactone, showed very low OAVs (<5) (...) Omission experiments indicated that previously unknown constituents of apricots, such as (E,Z)-2,6-nonadienal or (Z)-1,5-octadien-3-one, are key contributors to the apricot aroma.

Some compounds that are present at higher concentrations are less important because they have a high odor threshold, whereas other compounds which are present in minute quantities play important roles because we can detect them at very low concentrations. Once again this shows how important it is to use OAV values when looking for flavor pairings!

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Filed under: flavor pairing, molecular gastronomy, TGRWT

Comments

  1. Paul Says:

    I didn’t actually know what chanterelle was but, upon checking Wikipedia, I must say the above information seems a little obvious!
    “It has a fruity smell reminiscent of apricots and a mildly peppery taste, and is considered an excellent food mushroom.”

  2. Alex Says:

    I’d never have thought that these two flavours went together but can really see it working. Time to get the thinking cap on…

  3. Alessio Says:

    I think I read already a recipe from Pierre Gagnaire based on this combination…

  4. Martin Says:

    Paul: I checked the Wikipedia entry for the latin name, but I actually didn’t notice the part about the smell being reminiscent of apricots – quite amusing ;)

  5. Eric Bernhard Says:

    If i dont have a website can i still enter? I can post my pic and recipe on flickr? does that work? Also can i create multiple recipes?

  6. Martin Says:

    Eric: Sure! I’ll update the post and add your picture + quote from your verdict of the dish. Feel free to post several dishes if you like.

  7. lizet Says:

    This event is going to cause a problem. The season for fresh European Chantarelles is over, we only have big floppy and soddy Canadian Chantarelles, who do not look like the real stuff to me, but a different breed altogether. They smell different too. I only can get dried real Chantarelles, very uninspiring. It would be great to do this event next year september.

  8. Gfron1 Says:

    I submit Chanterelle & Roasted Chestnut Daquoise with Apricot Chestnut Oil Pudding and Apricot Chantilly.

    http://blogquat.blogspot.com/2008/11/tgrwt-12-chanterelle-and-apricot.html

  9. blog.khymos.org » Blog Archive » TGRWT #12: Chanterelle pie with apricots Says:

    [...] and see if I could recognize the smell reminiscent of apricots (as a commenter pointed out to my announcement: even wikipedia states this fact). But to be honest I was quite disappointed – there were no traces [...]