Food Pairing Trends 2015

Food Pairing Trends 2015

New flavor combinations for food creators.

Food Pairing Trends 2015

New flavor combinations for food creators.

Food-Pairing is one of the most exciting areas in culinary innovation. The hunt for new flavor combinations does not just preoccupy experts in sensory analysis and chefs. Nowadays it’s also used by companies in the IT sector who try to find the latest tasty blend, circumventing the biggest hurdle – cultural traditions – by using computers.

IBM for example (aided by a supercomputer called “Watson”) has developed the idea of “Cognitive Cooking” in cooperation with the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). Their goal: to create new recipes that contain completely original ingredient and flavor combinations.

The core of this system is a set of algorithms based on specific sets of data, regional know-how, cultural background knowledge as well as statistical lists of ingredients. All of this should produce innovative and surprising new recipes.

The system initially analyzes tens of thousands of existing recipes in order to „understand“ their composition and subsequently create new blends. Then it notes a cross-reference featuring ingredient flavors and the likelihood of approval and popularity with the general public.

Here is a list of recipes that have so far been published:

  • Indonesian Rice Chili Con Carne
  • Belgian Bacon Pudding
  • Austrian Chocolate Burrito
  • Caribbean Snapper Fish&Chips
  • Vietnamese Apple Kebab
  • Portuguese Lobster Roll
  • Creole Shrimp-Lamb Dumpling
  • Baltic Apple Pie
  • Caymanian Plaintain Dessert

Agricultural engineer Bernard Lahousse has news as well – he is one of the pioneers of the Food Pairing trend. Using his „Food Pairing Trees“, he tries to show which flavors fit well with certain basic ingredients. The closer the flavors are related, the better they will blend. One of his creations is the mousse au chocolat with crispy chicken skin. His website lets you create flavor combinations yourself with just a few clicks. A particularly interesting aspect of Food Pairing is the creation of desserts. Here, bitter aromas like green tea, basil and pistachio are mixed with sweet and fruity ingredients.

Heston Blumenthal, chef and owner at the legendary „Fat Duck“ in England likes to serve surprising combinations to his guests, most of which have similar flavor components, like „white chocolate and caviar“ and „chocolate muffin with blue cheese”. His food pairing experiments are of course not just restricted to desserts. The Fat Duck menu also features dishes like “lamb shank with strawberries“ and „lobster with vanilla and cocoa powder“.

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