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Foodpairing variations of typical Brazilian food: snacks

We continue our Brazilian food series with snacks;

1. Empanada


This originally Spanish and Portuguese dish is in Brazil a popular snack that can be found both savory and sweet. The Portuguese colonizers in Brazil introduced this dish. The dish can be fried or baked in the oven and is available with various fillings. This empanada is sometimes also called Portuguese pastel.

This empanada is filled with a mix of beef, oregano, chili, cumin, tomato, raisin and pecan.

Recipe you can find here.

How can I create a variation of this recipe?

Add the ingredients of the recipe to your combination in ‘create a new combo’. For the empanada this is beef, tomato, chili pepper, oregano, cumin and raisin.


In case you don’t want to use pecan, but another nut. Select the category ‘nuts and seeds’. The larger the green dot, the better the match. Hazelnut, pistachio nuts, almonds are the best matching nuts to this combination.

2. Coxinha


Coxinha is Portuguese for little chicken thigh or drumstick. Traditionally, this ‘chicken croquette’ is made with dough made ​​of flour and chicken broth, stuffed with seasoned, shredded chicken, which is then breaded and fried. The coxinha looks pear-shaped and resembles a chicken leg.

Recipe can be consulted here.

Foodpairing variations of typical Brazilian food

With the World Cup just days away we have put together a list of Foodpairing variations of typical Brazilian food to celebrate all things football! Foodpairing is a great tool to add variations to classic recipes. The coming weeks, we will post some great recipe suggestions and drinks. To start with; TV snacking and Caipirinha cocktails


The drink par excellence of Brazil is cachaça, a sugar cane distillate that is very similar to white rum. The national cocktail of Brazil, which enjoys a high reputation, both at home and abroad, is ​​the caipirinha. Starting from cachaça, one can make a lot of flavor variation with Foodpairing. The variation: raspberry or passion fruit. Recipes you can find here (become Free member and have access to these and hundreds of other Foodpairing recipes)



Pão de queijo are Brazilian cheese rolls, which resembles the French Gougères or cheese puffs. The biggest difference is that the Brazilians use tapioca flour instead of wheat flour. Brazilians traditionally use palm oil as fat. This we have replaced with peanut oil. Find the recipe here.

The ‘Brazil nut‘ is mainly harvested along the banks of the Amazon. For the spice mix, we have used the most common spices used in Brazilian cuisine including chili, cilantro, turmeric. Any other hand-made or homemade spice mix can replace the mix. Foodpairing gives plenty of inspiration. Find the recipe here.

Brazil nut is also available in ‘create a new combo’ for all members, including FREE. Select Brazil nut and make your own mix (select e.g. herbs, fruit or spices)

brazil nuts


Why do Saúva ants taste like lemongrass?

When we invited Alex Atala of D.O.M. about 3 years ago to give a demonstration at The Flemish Primitives together with Dominique Persoone, he brought Saúva ants along with him from Brazil.


Tasting these ants changed our perception from weird little appetite discouraging creatures with not much flavor into a delicacy that can be used as a spice. They tasted like lemongrass, ginger and cardamom.

In December last year we were visiting São Paulo to dive deeper into the ingredients of Brazil. We wanted to see and taste the diversity in flavors for ourselves. Luckily we got a lot of support from Alex Atala of D.O.M. and the local community.

The coming weeks we will post many recipes and insights based on the research followed after our trip to Brazil.

But to begin with; the Saúva ants. Why do these ants taste like lemongrass?

In the aroma analysis of the ants we see the strong presence of 2 isomers of citral; neral and geranial. Geranial has a strong citrus odor, while neral is less citrusy, but more sweet. Lemongrass contains about 1–2% essential oil in a dry weight basis. The essential oil is characterized by a high content of … neral and geranial.

The ants also contain large quantities of linalool. Linalool is an important flavor molecule, present everywhere around us, going from fruits to spices and ending in choice perfume ingredients. It smells floral, citrus, woody.The molecule is also found abundantly in Belgian white beers, coffee, gin and flowers such as elderflower, jasmine and hibiscus.

Based on the aroma profile, which Foodpairing combinations can we make with Saúva ants?


If we check the fruit section, we get this overview. The bigger the green dot, the better the match. So the ant matches very well with mango and banana but can also be paired with cherimoya or even pineapple! If pineapple is your favorite fruit, go for the pineapple-ant combo.

Recipe by Alex Atala (D.O.M.): Ants and pineapple

(extract from book:D.O.M.: Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients by Alex Atala from Phaidon Press.)

ant pineapple


1 pineapple


Peel the pineapple and cut into 4 equal cubes.

Finish and presentation:

4 saúva ants

Place a piece of pineapple on top of a serving dish and top with ant. Serve immediately.

Strawberry and cheese Foodpairing combinations

Strawberry combined with dairy such as milk (milk shake); cream (whipped cream) and cream cheese are combinations that we all know and love. Looking at the Foodpairing combinations, we see that indeed many of these ingredients can be matched to strawberry. In the dairy category, we also see cheese like Parmesan with a big green dot (the bigger the green dot, the better the match).

strawberry cheese


The spicy, salty character of the cheese is very tasty with the sweet and sour taste of the strawberry. 

Check out the Foodpairing® combinations with strawberry and these recipes with strawberry (register for free – only email and password – and get access to these recipes);

- How to match Chimay doré cheese, beer and strawberry

- Chavroux – strawberry – basil

Chavroux - strawberry - basil

- a beer cocktail with gueuze, tequila, strawberry and its matching cheese

Foodpairing: matching dishes to beverages

Foodpairing® is a vast source of inspiration, any user will agree. One can use Foodpairing® to design new dishes or cocktails, even so, it also contains clues for matching beverages to dishes (and vise versa).

Foodpairing may help you in the quest to the perfect beverage match. Foodpairing only takes aroma into account (don’t forget this!). But as aroma is already 80% of the taste experience, it is the most important one. Of course taste and texture will play as well a significant role in any combination. So don’t forget to experiment and above all to taste…

A traditional approach to food and beverage pairing would be to start from the dish and then search for a fitting beverage. Although tried and proven, we -at the Foodpairing Kitchens- often do the exact opposite; starting from a beverage and designing a fitting dish around it. This approach offers the flexibility of fine tuning the dish perfectly to the beverage, more then often resulting in true synergistic food and beverage pairings.

Here you can find some nice examples (register for free to access the recipes);

Belevedere Unfiltered with grapefruit à la Turque: the spiciness and sweetness of the dishes goes very well with the wodka and softness the alcohol

Belvedere Unfiltered - Grapefruit

- Le Chimay doré – mango – cinnamon:the Chimay Gold is characterized by fruitiness and spiciness (mainly cilantro) and therefore it fits perfectly with the Chimay Doré cheese. The tangy, spicy, sweet and sour mango chutney also fits very well with the Chimay Gold

Kasteel Rouge with almond, peach and raspberry: the sweet, fruity flavour matches very well with this dessert. The sourness of the raspberry takes care of the balance of the dish with the food. The almond and the peach links the dish with the beer (Kasteel Rouge is made with cherries and contains like peach and almond the flavour component benzaldehyde)

Kasteel Rouge - almond - peach - raspberry - basil

St Louis Premium Kriek with lobster, sweet potato and passion fruit: the sweetness and fruitiness makes a perfect match with the sweetness of the lobster and the fruitiness of the sweet potato and the passion fruit. The sourness of the beer, together with the acidity of the passion fruit gives the whole a pleasant freshness

St Louis Premium Kriek - lobster - sweet potato - passion fruit

New functionality on twist it

Hi all!

We’re excited to show you our new website, which we launched last week. We’ve got new features, and today we’ll explain our new ‘Twist it!’ option. Log in and check it out on, or if you haven’t got an account yet, REGISTER FOR FREE!

inspire homepage (1)

The point of the ‘Twist It!’ function is to take an existing recipe and vary it easily. This way, you’ve quickly got an all new dish on your hands with only minimal effort or skills needed. Try out new things, insert your favorite ingredients, and add your personal touch!

Here’s a small tutorial with plenty of pictures.

  1. Log into the inspire homepage. Now, click the green ‘TWIST A RECIPE’ button on the left picture. This brings you to our selection of ‘All twistable recipes’, as shown here.
  2. Pick or search for a recipe. For this tutorial, we’ll explain twisting with the ‘Scallop Saint Jacques – passion – shiso’ recipe, but it’s the same everywhere.Capture
  3. See that green ‘TWIST IT!’ button at the start of the recipe? Click it.

    Continue reading

Foodpairing draait door – Foodpairing and the oldest printed recipe

Robert Kranenborg, a famous former 2 Michelin star chef, asked to analyze the oldest printed recipe (dated 1593), called ‘Keulschen huspot’ .


The recipe was found in one of the oldest printed cooking book (actually it was more like a medical encyclopedia) written by Carolus Battus.


In the Dutch program ‘De Wereld Draait Door’ Kranenborg will give a complete image of the cow by using movies, cow meat, anatomic models and living cows. From whey till the meat on your plate. He will share butcher’s secrets and farmers craftsmanship. Talk about the overrated tenderloin and the underrated stew.  And of course about Foodpairing…

Tonight you can follow the program 8:30 pm at the Dutch television NED3.


We analyzed the ‘Keulschen huspot’ (type of stew with lots of herbs and spices) based on the following recipe;


500 g beef, cut into cubes of 3 x 3 cm, ± 40 g per piece of meat

100 g onion

40 g butter

8 g flour

9 g dill

70 g ginger, cut into chunks

0.1 g of nutmeg powder

1.1 g of crushed white pepper

5 dl veal fonds


Cut the onion into brunoise.  Heat the butter in a pot and add the onion. Fry the onions and remove from the pot when the onion are glazed.

Season the meat with salt and pepper. Put some extra butter in the pot and add the meat cubes. When the meat cubes are colored, add again the fried onion, some flour and stir.

Add the veal fonds and the dill, the ginger, the crushed peppercorns and the nutmeg powder. Maybe you will be surprised by the quantity of the spices, but you need this amount.

Put the lid on the pot and bring to the boil. Cook in a preheated oven at 150°C.

The combinations with this dish? You can find here in the Foodpairing tree.



Beluga Gold Line Vodka

We are proud to announce that we added a new exclusive vodka to our database: Beluga Gold Line Vodka. This vodka is produced in Siberia and matured for 90 days before bottling. This renders a broad aromatic profile with a soft sweetness. Let’s take a look at Beluga Gold Line’s Foodpairing potential.

The flavor profile of Beluga Gold Line Vodka is dominated by the fruity theme, pineapple and apple make excellent matches. Furthermore, this Vodka has outspoken spicy (clove-like) and green (cucumber, peppers, pea) flavor directions; and is further supplemented with caramellic notes (maple syrup). The flavor profile is rather complex for a vodka, providing a lot of Foodpairing opportunities.

We designed a complete menu complementing the Beluga Gold Line Vodka, from starter to dessert. The Vodka can be served throughout the meal.

The appetizer combines fruity and floral themes in a refreshing dish. While the dessert is exclusively focused on the fruity components of vodka. The vodka is paired with pineapple and ginger.

The main coursed combines grilled cucumber, fried beef and cabbage. This dish brings out the green and caramellic notes of the vodka.

Recipes you can find here.

Foodpairing chocolate

Let’s talk chocolate! In this article we’ll take a look at Belcolade’s Noir Origins Grenada 67 and two pralines we‘ve designed to bring out its unique character.

Chocolate is unarguably one of the most complex food products, especially when it comes to its flavours. Belcolade has an Origins series covering almost the whole chocolate flavor spectrum, going from very earthy to flowery fruity. All Origin Chocolates were added to database. So check out the Foodpairing Explorer if you’re looking for a perfect matching chocolate. Based upon the flavor analysis and the Foodpairing results, a variety of pralines and desserts were designed, each emphasizing the particular character of the used chocolate. Find the recipes on our website.

Let’s take a closer look at the Grenada 67 and its recipes.

This chocolate is characterized by fruity and citrus flavor directions. The Grenada 67 also has a big nutty flavor theme, yet these aromas can be found in many chocolates. When searching for good matches with a particular chocolate, it’s best to focus on flavor themes that are characterizing for that chocolate. A first Grenada praline was made playing with the fruity direction, incorporating pear and blackberry

Recipe here.

A second praline is focused on the citrusy character of the Grenada 67 chocolate. Selecting Calamansie and mint.

Recipe here.