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Surprisingly Delicious Food Pairings That Really Mix It Up

March 4, 2016

food paring 

This month we’re all about food pairings – the science of pairing one food or ingredient with another for some unexpectedly new and amazing results! These taste combos shouldn’t work – but they do. Here are a few unique food parings that really mix it up. How many have you tried? How many would you try?

Two Old Favourites Team Up To Make Something New

Strawberries + Fava Beans

Think delightful salad that combines strawberries, fava beans, and feta cheese with a vinegar and herb dressing. Of course, the flavors combine best when using fresh ingredients.

Butternut Squash + Lime

The zesty flavour of lime juice combines perfectly with roasted butternut squash. Add ingredients such as chili to increase the sparkle, or add rosemary for a more subtle effect. Another way to combine these two surprising ingredients is to add a dollop of lime cream to butternut squash soup. Yum!

Strawberries + Tomato

They're both fruits, right? Make a fun salad with orange and yellow mini tomatoes cut in half, thick strawberry slices, curly pasta and a simple olive oil dressing.

Tuna + Orange

Add a touch of surprising flavour to your tuna steaks by first rolling them in a mix of orange zest, rosemary, salt and pepper, balsamic and olive oil. Cook steaks about four minutes each side, then garnish with orange slices. 

Viva Italia!

Basil + Cloves

Italian cooks sometimes put a pinch of ground cloves in pesto; the two foods share a sweet compound called eugenol and create a delightful fresh flavour. Try this combination in your next pasta salad.

Orange + Olive

This pairing doesn’t sound quite right at first, but give it a try! From antipasto to salads, millions of Italians will vouch for this pairing that will leave taste buds dancing.

Not Your Everyday Pairing

Oyster + Kiwi (or Watermelon)

Want a super easy dish to impress your guests? You'll come off looking like a professional chef when you dress up oysters with a garnish of fresh kiwi or watermelon, and the delicate flavours perfectly compliment each other.

Apple + Lavender

There's something exquisite about this unlikely pairing, even if at first you're wondering how it would taste. Try a French apple-lavender tarte tatin with fresh lavender buds cooked into an amazing apple pastry and experience this unlikely combo for yourself. 

Banana + Bacon

Bacon wrapped fried bananas, banana bacon muffins, even bacon banana cookies. These flavours are just meant to go together!

Chocoholics Unite!

Chocolate + Sage

Who knew that chocolate could add such a rich flavor to simple pasta dishes? Or try adding a pinch of sage to chocolate sauce, then drizzle over ice cream.

Chocolate + Chili

This combo is not unheard of - but have you tried it? Perfect for true chocolate lovers, try adding some unsweetened chocolate to your chili and see what you think.

Chocolate + Olives

Try stuffing green olives with a mix of dark chocolate, lemon zest, and ricotta, then dip in melted chocolate. Some think this combination is a perfect aphrodisiac, but we think it's just positively delish!

Truly Unique

Salmon + Licorice

This combo will likely only appeal to die-hard licorice fans (licorice is a very polarizing ingredient). If you're feeling adventurous, try this amazing recipe for macadamia and licorice coated salmon and let us know what you think.

Coconut + Egg

From coconut meringue to scrambled eggs with shredded coconut and fresh fruit, this unlikely pair compliments each flavour perfectly. You can even experiment with coconut Easter eggs!

Avocado + Coffee

Avocado and coffee yields a shockingly smooth and incredibly rich drink that is popular in Indonesia served over ice. This can also be made as a thick milkshake by blending the ice right into the drink. 

Ketchup + Banana

Really? Banana and ketchup? While you could try dipping bananas in ketchup to see how it tastes, ketchup made from bananas is really a thing! Banana ketchup became popular in the Philippines because of a scarcity of tomatoes, and the unlikely pairing has stuck around.

Have you tried a crazy-fun unlikely food pairing lately?  Contact us and let us know about your 'mix it up' adventures!


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