6 beautiful flavour pairings
Certain flavours “exist together in a relation that is not just complementary but that seems to partake of a higher order of inevitability – a taste that exists in the mind of God.” John Lanchester, The Debt to Pleasure
In the name of experiencing more of these divine sensations, we’ve put together a collection of our favourite flavour pairings.
Chocolate and chestnut.
The rich complexity of pure dark chocolate is the perfect background for velvety and delicately sweet chestnuts. 100% is best if your palate can take it (and you can find it) but anything above 70% is more than suitable.
Taste it – mix chestnut puree with melted dark chocolate, coconut oil, and a few tablespoons of rum, before spooning the mixture into a baking tray and refrigerating.
Peaches with rosemary and thyme
This is a recipe picked up from my mother’s kitchen. The gentle flavours of the herbs will draw out the sweetness of a perfectly ripe peach.
Slice peaches into halves, drizzle with honey or maple syrup, and sprinkle with fresh rosemary and thyme. Bake for 20 minutes.
Goat’s cheese and strawberries
Goat’s Cheese has a subtle tang that balances perfectly with the sweet bite of fresh strawberries and indulgent syrupy balsamic reduction.
Spread goat’s cheese on toasted sourdough or crackers, top with strawberries and a balsamic reduction.
To make the reduction bring 2 parts balsamic vinegar to 1 part honey and bring to the boil over a hob, reduce heat and let simmer till thickened and shiny.
Coffee and Cardamom
The spirit of the Middle East, cardamom evokes imaginings of smokey filled souks and Moroccan markets. Stirred into a cup of coffee or infused into a coffee cake it makes for a poetically potent flavor.
Make coffee in a filter as normal, but add 1 cracked open cardamom seed to the coffee pot. Let it sit for a bit before enjoying, to let the flavours infuse.
Seabass and Orange
Possibly a bit of an oddity, but the sharp orange flavour really brings a shine to this white fish.
Coat a fillet in sesame seeds, before searing on a medium-high heat. Finish with an orange glaze – made by heating sesame oil, tamari, the juice and zest of one orange, and a pinch of chilli.
Apple and lavender
Classically British with an air of Austen. Add vodka, and you’re golden.
Put a sprig of lavender in a bottle of vodka and let it infuse for 1-2 days, shaking frequently. (Well, not too frequently. 3 times a day is plenty.) Then filter out the lavender bits through a cheesecloth. Shake equal amounts of lavender vodka and fresh apple juice over ice, and serve delicious lavender apple-tinis.