Food Pairings that sound wrong, but are oh so right – PART 1
We've all seen the rise of those slightly unusual food combinations around. Usually they are associated with chocolate; think chilli chocolate and sea salted caramels. I'm not sure why they seem to be delivered to the masses in chocolate or treat form more than anything else, maybe that’s where we are most likely to spend our hard earned cash on being adventurous. If it is a snack or indulgence that turns out to be disgusting you've only lost a couple of pounds. Whereas the concept may be less appealing if your culinary exploration involved risking your whole dinner.
There's a bunch of science behind why these seemingly opposing ingredients work together, which excites geeky me. Yet it can be yawn inducing to most, the chemical compounds, flavonoids, yada yada yada......Anyway, just take my word for it that they are delicious - dive in and have a go!
1. Vanilla Ice Cream and Olive Oil
Might seem mad to us, but the Italians have been doing it for years and no one can deny they know their stuff. Go for the best olive oil you can afford, a good peppery one for salads, and either make the ice cream or buy the best you can for a talking point easy pud.
There are so many, I could keep going for pages. Let us know what your personal and family favourites are, and don't forget the pictures! And let us know if you’d like to see more!
2. Strawberries and Soft Cheese
Grab some of your favourite salad leaves, some soft goats cheese and strawberries to make into a new and wow summer salad. Or try a rich home-made sticky strawberry compote alongside some soft salty goats cheese, one to use up those strawberries in a new exciting way that doesn't involve another smoothie or Eton mess.
3. Langoustine (or Lobster) and Vanilla
Shellfish and vanilla? No way you say, but imagine for a moment how sweet that shellfish tastes and we associate vanilla with sweet things. It isn't sweet on its own of course, so use it to highlight flavours here. Melt some butter and add lemon juice and the scrapings of a vanilla pod. Let it infuse or stir some of the gorgeous black flecks of fresh vanilla through a hollandaise. Divine!
4. Blue Cheese and Honey
One of the most simple but pleasing deserts I've ever had was just a super ripe wedge of roquefort, oozing invitingly and a spoon of sticky honey still in the comb. Coupled with a neutral cracker it was hard to imagine how it could be improved upon. I've often replicated it at home with just some good local London honey.
5. Popcorn and Champagne
It's gotta be salty and buttery, a great match with the dry sparkles. That's the nibbles for your next party sorted.