The Art and Science of Foodpairing: 10,000 flavour matches that will transform the way you eat
Peter Coucquyt, Bernard Lahousse, and Johan Langenbick

What is foodpairing? It is not the familiar and mundane matching of wine and food or even food and food, but it is certainly all about creating the most delicious culinary results possible.

When humans taste a food, they are processing its taste 80 percent through the nose — via the food’s aromatic molecules — and only 20 percent on the tongue. We can conclude then that knowing the aromatic molecular properties of a food is critical to pairing foods successfully for ultimate taste.

For a long time, we have been unknowingly pairing aromatic molecules out of instinct, cultural history, tradition, and plain guesswork. Many of those are routine and make sense but others are counterintuitive, like balsamic vinegar on strawberries. We like them because they are delicious. What we didn’t know is that they work because they share aromatic molecules. With this new knowledge we have discovered unheard-of pairings like chocolate on cauliflower and kiwi with oyster. So how do we use this new science? We at home don’t have the technology to isolate molecules or store the results in a database.

That’s where The Art and Science of Foodpairing® comes in. From the scientists and chefs who discovered this new culinary science, and the company that created and maintains the enormous database, here is a fabulous reference to 10,000 food pairings for use in both professional and home kitchens. Foodpairing® has proven to be revolutionary: When the Foodpairing® database went live, the chef and restaurant community came on like a storm with 100,000 website hits on the first day. Now over 200,000 chefs and restaurants in 140 countries regularly access the database when designing their menus.

The Art and Science of Foodpairing® provides 10,000 flavor matches laid out in taste wheels and color keys. When cooks go to one ingredient, they will find 10 food pairings and a color wheel revealing the taste results. For example, boiled beets will taste less like the earth they grew in and more like cheese if they are paired with coffee, and cauliflower sprinkled with cocoa could turn the fussiest child into a veggie fiend.

Foodpairing® has the potential to transform our food choices with outcomes that include good health as well as the power to alleviate boredom. The same dinner, the same staples. We get bored, our children get bored. Foodpairing®, even without adding anything new to the pantry, can alleviate that.

Beginning with an in-depth introduction and the story of Foodpairing®, the book contains:

  • Foodpairing® – What it is, how it works, methodology; the database; how to create a well-balanced recipe.
  • The omnivore’s dilemma – Including the conflict between playing safe and boredom, and the search for variety and novelty; learned food association; acquired tastes.
  • Aroma – Including the importance of aroma to our flavor experience; how we change aromas by cooking; how ingredients create different or similar results; building your aroma library.
  • Smell – Including how people smell and perceive aromas; why smell is essential to the eating experience.
  • The Foodpairing® directory – 10 pairings per food, 10 per cooking method, 10,000 combinations in total.

The book also covers key food characteristics, aroma profiles, classic dishes, contemporary combinations, scientific explanations, special features and contributions from some of the world’s greatest chefs for the top 150 ingredients, and much more.

The Art and Science of Foodpairing® is destined to become the essential reference to creating delicious, exciting and perfectly balanced meals.