Feeling hungry? Or just a little adventurous in the kitchen? Well, science is here to give you a helping hand. And because it cares for you so much, it already came up with a list of possible recipes you can choose from:
Vanilla-flavored porkchops? Chocolate marinated beef? Coffee with creamy mashed potatoes or with garlic cloves perhaps? No? What about some caviar and chocolate?
Don't worry, I'm not crazy. I've been as shocked as you are for all these sounds like your tongue's about to organize a protest. But please here me out. A physicist is actually here to explain why these seemingly terrible flavor pairings taste better than you'd think—at least as far as revolutionary science is concerned.
Meet Dr. Sebastian Ahnert- a Cambridge physicist specializing in biochemical networks. To start, he is to blame for these cringing and unsettling combinations. He compiled data from 56,498 online recipes and created a fresh way of seeing food combinations that is way beyond the boundaries of our culinary perception. He mapped out different flavors and how ingredients interact to understand better the food network.
"It has led to something called computational gastronomy. We can use datasets about food compounds to change the way we experience food," he said, according to the Daily Mail
. These counterintuitive combinations are said to share similar chemical compounds which can be seen in this scientific map of Dr. Ahnert's personal version of Flavortown.
But don't get to excited yet. This is not as easy as one two three for these compounds also vary based on temperature. This means that the map just shows foods' potential connections but how it is prepared should be studied and that's how our heroic chefs come in.
"Cooking can also alter compounds, so we need to do some work predicting how that can change a flavor profile," Ahnert specified. "Coffee and potato share a lot of compounds, so I made mashed potato with milky coffee. It was horrible. But I've had a dish in Paris with coffee and potato that worked. So, the execution is a big part [of it], and that is where chefs can really help."
That said, perhaps it's good to leave the data collecting to scientists and the food preparation to the cooks! Looking forward to eating the next level to food dimension then!