When searching for the right ingredient to pair with rum, in this case the Zacapa XO, we often think of fruity, caramel ingredients such as pineapple or raspberry. Pairing rum with more earthy ingredients such as beetroot seems less obvious, yet it's possible.
The fruity-floral-caramel flavours of Zacapa XO
Zacapa XO is a spicy rum with woody, fruity, caramel and floral aromas.
These aromas in rum are generally derived from the sugar cane where the rum is distilled from and the wooden barrels they age in. The Zacapa XO is distilled from virgin cane honey, coming from the highlands of Guatemala.
When creating new combinations with Zacapa XO, adding fruity, caramel and floral ingredients would be an obvious choice.
For example, Zacapa XO with pineapple (playing on the fruity side) or apple, raspberry (floral and fruity notes) are a good match. That is why fruity-floral ingredients like these are a very good match with the Zacapa XO (big green dot) in the Foodpairing Inspiration Tool.
Caramel notes of Zacapa XO
However, its caramel notes and pyridines (earthy flavour) make it a good companion for roasted and earthy ingredients. These earthy links are not that strong like the fruity, floral notes, but the challenge of foodpairing is to try less obvious combinations.
Examples of earthy ingredients are potato, salsify, beetroot,... Read more on the earthy flavour of beetroot here.
The Foodpairing® Kitchen decided to create a dessert with beetroot that perfectly matches a good glass of Zacapa XO rum. Using the Foodpairing Inspiration Tool, following interesting pairings popped up:
Zacapa XO - Beetroot - Dark Chocolate - Raspberry - Black Olive
Foodpairing Inspiration Tool