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Cover: Founding Flavors

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.

Enjoy!
Sonia
www.foundingflavors.com

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