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Cover: Founding Flavors

February, 2013

18Feb 13

Expand Flavors in Your Culinary Repertoire

We all do it.  You walk into your kitchen and decide to whip up a dish using whatever you have in your pantry.  Sometimes your efforts to improvise leave you feeling rather impressed with your natural culinary talent.  And, other times, not even your mother could tell you how good your creation is with a straight face.

A few weeks ago, I pulled out a sponge cake from the oven, drizzled simple syrup over it, and proceeded to open the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator looking for inspiration.  As I sliced fresh strawberries to place in between the sponge layers, I whipped up coffee flavored cream to spread over the sponge cake.   Since the combination of flavors sounded perfectly normal to me, I was a little taken aback when a friend came over and inquired as to whether these two items actually go together.  The question had never crossed my mind!  I love strawberries and drink coffee everyday, so why wouldn’t they go together?

This conversation lead me to discover www.foodpairing.com, a website dedicated to exploring the science behind the molecular make-up of different foods to determine which items are best paired together.  Once you create an account, you are able to select a specific ingredient, like strawberries or coffee, and then see an interactive web of options that will complement your meal.  The purpose of the website is not to dictate what you should put together but rather to provide you with a list of choices that you might not have considered or, even better, not even known existed.

When I clicked on coffee and looked under the fruit category, I was glad to learn that strawberries do go with coffee.  However, there were other fruits that would have been more suitable such as pears or a bergamot.  I was particularly excited about the bergamot because until I reviewed the food web, I had not heard about this pear-shaped orange.  It was also fascinating to learn that between the spectrum of pears or bergamot and strawberries, I could have opted to use raspberries, rambutan, or lychee.  The latter two being tropical fruits that I never imagined would have gone well with coffee.  Now that I’ve discovered this reference, I want to pass it along to you since-in addition to providing you with an array of ingredients to consider incorporating into your culinary repertoire-it also provides recipes for meals, desserts, and cocktails.


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18Feb 13

Kiwi Sorbet

I’ve been practicing making various sorbets with my latest creation being a delicious, all natural Kiwi sorbet.  While I’ll expound upon the Kiwi sorbet recipe I used, I want to take a minute to discuss some of the lessons I’ve learned about making sorbet.

For starters, unlike ice cream, it is not necessary to use a thermometer when heating up the mixture.  Instead, you simply mix sugar and water in a saucepan and allow it to boil.  The second thing to consider when making sorbet is whether you are going to use fruit juice or fruit puree.  Either is fine, but the consistency of the sorbet will differ depending on which one you use.  Fruit juice usually does not contain sufficient fruit fibers, which means that the sorbet is a little icy once frozen.  If, however, your preference is a sorbet with a smoother texture, you can add an egg white to the mixture (I’ll explain when this is done later on).  If you are going to use fruit juice, my preference is to skip the egg white because the overall taste better resembles that of the actual fruit used.  Finally, there is the fruit puree option, which is my personal favorite and the one I used for making the kiwi sorbet.  It takes about 15 minutes longer because you have to make the fruit puree first, but it really has a more enhanced flavor.  And, the texture is smooth without having to add an egg white because of the fruit fibers contained in the puree.


Sugar: 34g or roughly 3 tablespoons (for puree)
Kiwi: 340g or roughly 5 kiwi
Water: 300g or 1½ cups
Sugar: 150g or 2/3 cup
Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons

1. Peel and slice kiwi.








2. Place sliced kiwi in a saucepan with 34 grams of sugar.








3. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes and stir occasionally.








4. Pour mixture into a blender and puree.








5. Now, bring water and 150 grams of sugar to a boil.*








6. Remove from heat and add in the kiwi puree and lemon juice.

7. Stir, cover, and store in the refrigerator for at least six hours.








8. Then place the mixture in the ice cream maker and allow it to blend for 30 minutes.








* If you are going to use fruit juice, start with step 5. And, if you plan on adding an egg white to the mixture, stir this in after step 6.

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