Posts Tagged ‘food pairing’

TGRWT #22: Raisin

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Impatient raisin waiting to be cooked

More than 1 1/2 year has passed since the last round of They Go Really Well Together, and in the meantime there’s been quite some publicity with TGRWT being mentioned both in Gastronomica and Chemical and Engineering News. Based on predicted aroma similiarity participants are given two or more ingredients to cook with and blog about. The idea is based on a science guided approach to bring together ingredients one might otherwise not have used together when cooking. Altogether somewhere between 100 and 200 recipes have been submitted in previous rounds, so it’s worthwhile browsing through the rounds-ups that have been published. Some readers have inquired about a continuation of the blogging event, and I’m happy to announce a new round of TGRWT starting today here at Khymos. In previous rounds two ingredients were chosen, but this time there is a slight twist as there is only one ingredient: raisins. Participants will then be able to select one (or more) ingredients to pair with raisins using food pairing trees at the Foodpairing website. Raisins alone rarely play a significant role in cooking, but their rich flavor arising from enzymatic browning reactions (as opposed to the non-enzymatic Maillard browning), and as such they are one of the rare examples of desirable enzymatic browning. I believe raisins should open up a host of possibilities ranging from savory dishes to the obvious sweet ones and look very much forward to see your contributions!

A flavor pairing color analogy

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Flavor pairing is a controversial* topic which I’ve blogged about many times in the past. In my last post I suggested that predicted aroma similarity may be a more precise term, and below is an attempt to illustrate predicted aroma similarity (of type 2d according to this classification) by using a color analogy. Let me explain a little first: The letters describe different foods and colors are used to illustrate the sum of the key odorants. The normal situation is that foods A and K (which are perceived as different because they are far apart in the alphabet) also have different colors meaning that they share few or no key odorants. A and B however are close in the alphabet and have similar colors, hence they share key odorants. In some cases foods that we think are very different (A and Z) may turn out to share several key odorants (i.e. have similar colors). The “flavor pairing hypothesis” is a way of finding the “Z” based on predict aroma similarity. I think one reason why we cannot always find the “Z” is that (more…)

The Flemish Primitives 2010 (part 1)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Again I was lucky that all the practical details worked out so I could attend this year’s Flemish Primitives in Brugge. For some one who’s not attended, it’s not so easy to grasp the concept and ideas behind The Flemish Primitives (TFP). And I admit, even though I’ve been there twice it’s not so easy to convey it in a short way. First of all the name is rather cryptic (unless you’re into art) as it refers to early Netherlandish painting. The link to food is described as follows by the organizers of the event (my highlights):

In the 15th and 16th century, ‘The Flemish Primitives’ were masters in combining their talent with new techniques. Techniques they developed by interacting with other disciplines like manuscripting, sculpting, etc. This way of working changed the painting techniques in all of Western Europe forever. The event “˜The Flemish Primitives’ wants to continue in the same spirit. Respect for food products and beverages, the knowledge of the classic cooking techniques combined with a stimulation of new techniques and creativity. By promoting interaction between scientists, the world’s most famous chefs and artists, the event wants to deliver a creative boost for the food industry and gastronomy in Belgium and the world.

Considering last year’s sucess it was no big surprise that this year’s event was sold out (and the foyer of the Concertgebouw was equally full in the coffee breaks). And with the memories from last year I arrived in Brugge with great expectations. One main difference from previous years was that the scientific parts were much better integrated throughout the day. Scientists were on stage alongside the chefs, explaining their work. Also, contrary to last year’s back stage kitchen, they had now moved the kitchen onto the stage, flanked by a bar, some sofas and laboratory mezzanine. A good decision!

French book on flavor pairing of food and wine

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009


The Canadian sommerlier Franí§ois Chartier (he has an extensive website featuring several blogs, including a section named Sommellerie moléculaire) is out with a new book on food and wine pairing. It’s not just another (superfluous) book on the subject. As the title Papilles et molécules (= Tastebuds and Molecules, unfortunately not available in English) suggests there is some science involved. It turns out in fact that he has applied the principles of flavor pairing to food and wine. With help from Richard Béliveau from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Martin Loignon from PerkinElmer he has analyzed wines and food and comes up with the following suggestions for lamb, as described in the article “Chemistry-set wine pairing”:

The Flemish Primitives: A travel report (part 1)

Friday, January 9th, 2009

I had a wonderful trip to Brugge/Bruges to attend the foodpairing seminar The Flemish Primitives. I got to meet many interesting people including Heston Blumenthal, Peter Barham, Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Ben Roche and Tony Conigliaro to mention a few. I also finally had the opportunity to talk to my fellow Swedish food bloggers Lisa Fí¶rare Winbladh (Matí¤lskaren, Swedish only but Google can translate) and Malin Sandstrí¶m (Matmolekyler, Swedish only but Google can translate) who’ve recently been awarded money to write a Swedish book about molecular gastronomy for home cooks. I even talked to several people who read Khymos! It’s always nice when I can attach some faces to the crowd out there in the big, unpersonal blogosphere.

As you see from this long post the day was packed and believe it or not – there will be a couple more posts in the next few days. One on the surprise “chocolate box” (for me this was the highlight), a summary of the interview with Heston Blumenthal and some info on the chemistry behind the glowing lollipops! I’ll also try do dig up the recipe for the chocolate dip that came with our lunch fries.

Food pairing seminar update

Friday, November 7th, 2008

The food pairing seminar is named “The Flemish Primitives” after the 15th and 16th century artists who were combining talent with new techniques.

I’ve blogged about the upcoming food pairing seminar in Belgium on January 5th previously, but there are a couple of important additions to the programme: Albert Adrií  (El Bulli, Spain) and Ben Roche (Moto, USA) will also participate. Given the extensive list of other chefs and notabilities within the realms of molecular gastronomy and science inspired cooking that will be present, this is definitely the place to be on January 5th. Registering is online, and the early bid registration fee is €245 (rises to €295 from November 16th). More information is available from the website (also in html format).

Searching for flavour pairings

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

Google can be of great help when exploring flavour pairings, especially for those of us who don’t have access to the commercial database VCF. The following tip has been mentioned in a comment to a previous blog post, but I thought it could be a good idea to bring it to everyones attention:

The Good Scents company has en extensive range of aroma components, and the nice thing is that they list natural occurences and uses. The latter I guess, is based on the organoleptic properties of the aroma compounds. Using google, it’s possible to check if two or more foods have anything in common. Just type in the foods of interest and add site: at the end. The triple combination in my last post for instance gives the following search string (click to perform the google search) and the top 5 hits are:

furfuryl mercaptan * 98-02-2
benzothiazole * 95-16-9
isovaleraldehyde * 590-86-3
bis(2-methyl-3-furyl) disulfide * 28588-75-2
5-methyl furfural * 620-02-0

The numbers following the name of the aroma compound are CAS registry numbers and indentify each compound uniquely. They are often more useful than the chemical name when searching the internet and databases.

Unfortunately there is no way to distinguish whether the foods listed for each aroma compound occur under the “Natural occurences” or “Used in” labels.