Foodpairing, the art of combining ingredients

Foodpairing, the art of combining ingredients

2018/17/04 - Foodpairing is the new religion for chefs, and also for EVOO. It allows them to combine science and cooking, to combine the bitter with the spicy, the sweet with the acid. Its creator, the Belgian Bioengineer Bernard Lahouse, tells Mercacei that with this method they are breaking down barriers and dismantling the traditional conceptions that we had established until now. For this reason, its website is today the bible of Michelin-star chefs with and a must when it comes to creating new gastronomic creations.

Last March, during the "VI EVOO and Haute Mediterranen Cuisine Event" held at the Monastrell restaurant in Alicante, Bernard Lahouse gave a talk on the changing world of food. In it, he stressed that 40% of millennials never eat the same dish in a restaurant. "People are always looking for new surprising combinations and olive oil responds perfectly to this demand due to the diversity of flavors it offers," said Lahouse, who nevertheless regretted that "currently this product is used in catering only on salty and classic dishes".

Thus, he explained how, through Foodpairing, it is possible to calculate almost all the matching ingredients, from classic combinations to completely new ones. The pairing of food is based on digitizing the flavor of each food product and, therefore, since its inception, Foodpairing has characterized more than 2,500 ingredients taking into account its aroma, flavor and texture. "Depending on the characterization of each of them, Foodpairing is able to calculate the most suitable ingredients for their combination," said the co-founder of this project, who noted that from their website "chefs around the world discover new combinations which include, of course, extra virgin olive oil."

Engineering at the service of the chef
Foodpairing is based on the analysis of the ingredient's flavor. It is an interactive visualization of each ingredient to create a tree that offers, at a simple glance, all its possible combinations, what they call a Foodpairing Tree. "The ingredients are grouped by categories: meat, fish, herbs and spices, etc., and within each category there are other subcategories, for example, herbs, spices, flowers or plants".

Asked about what foods give more possibilities, Lahouse says it depends on many factors, but "olive oils offer us many options because the more complex the profile of the flavor of a food is, the more possibilities there are when establishing interesting links with other foods."

"We have discovered that with a product like extra virgin olive oil there are combinations through Foodpairing from breakfast to dinner: cocktails, cheeses... and even more sophisticated preparations such as black olive beans with miso and basmati rice or kumquat cake", says the bioengineer who stresses that this website is not only for food professionals. "We are convinced that Foodpairing is ideal for all foodies, passionate about gastronomy that are not afraid to experiment with flavors," he concludes. We will take note!
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