Author Archives: admin

Turkey with a twist for Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is in 3 days. Family and friends gather at a well-dressed dinner table to say thanks and enjoy a traditional stuffed turkey meal. At Foodpairing® we’re all for traditions, nothing is better than to enjoy a traditional dinner with the family. Yet it seems we’re too restless to turn down a good Foodpairing experiment…Let’s give our classic Turkey a twist!

Classic Turkey with a Twist 

Let’s break our classic routines. Why not change our – same old – stuffed turkey recipe for a surprising Foodpairing® recipe? Let’s look for some original combinations with the Foodpairing Inspiration Tool.

Original pairings with Turkey

These first pairings we will combine in our starter. A turkey roulade filled with blue cheese and rolled into a port jelly with cranberry and dried figs.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 17.17.42

Keeping in mind some other traditional ingredients like cranberries, pumpkins and pecans, we steadily converge to some intricate combinations for a Turkey salad as a main dish. A Turkey salad with pumpkin ketchup, pecans, cranberry vinaigrette and cilantro.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 09.59.39

From pairings to recipe

Turkey - Blue Cheese  - Port – Cranberry - Fig

Preparations ( 8 – 10 persons )

For this recipe we’ll fill up the turkey with cheese and roll it into a sausage.  This delicious turkey roulade can be served as an appetizer. Put it on a stick if you want to serve it as a small bite.


  • 4 thin slices of turkey breast
  • salt and pepper

Hammer the slices of turkey breast. Season with salt and pepper. Dress them on plastic wrap.

Cheese filling

  • 4 bars blue cheese (Fourme d’Ambert)

Place a bar of blue cheese in the center of the turkey layer and roll the whole thing into a sausage. Poach at 62 ° C for 30 ‘. Cool in ice water. Cut into small rolls and place them on a stick.

Beef-cranberry Jelly

  • 200 g clarified beef bouillon
  • 50 g port
  • 30 g cranberries cooked in sugar
  • 2.5 g kappa (jelly)

Mix the beef consommé with the port and the cranberries. Bring to the boil and strain. Allow to cool down. Add the kappa and mix. Bring back to a boil.


  • dried figs

Dip the sausages in the jelly and decorate with pieces of candied fig. Let gel.

 Turkey – Pumpkin – Pecan nut – Cranberry – Cilantro

Preparations (4 persons)

Turkey Filet and vinaigrette 

  • turkey filet of 200 g
  • 20 g cranberries cooked in sugar
  • 10 g orange juice
  • 5 g rice vinegar
  • 10 g olive oil
  • chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Grill the turkey filet on both sides and cook further in a preheated oven at 150 ° C. Cut into thin slices and season with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients for the vinaigrette and season to taste.

Pumpkin puree

  • 335 g pumpkin (peeled)
  • 145g Granny Smith
  • 80 g onion
  • 5 g garlic
  • thyme and bayleaf
  • 200 g water

Dice the pumpkin, Granny Smith, onion and garlic. Braise in olive oil with thyme and bayleaf. Quench with water and cook until tender. Blend when the water has almost completely evaporated.

Curry Sauce

  • 25 g sugar
  • 15 g aigre-doux (50 g of caramelized sugar quenched with 10 g of white wine vinegar)
  • 1 g cornstarch
  • 20 g water
  • curry powder

Add sugar, aigre-doux and curry powder. Bring back to a boil and add the cornstarch water mixture while stirring. Allow to boil, then cool down and season to taste with curry powder, salt, pepper and other spices.


  • pecans
  • mixed salad
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Toast the pecans. Cool down and chop. Season the salad with olive oil, salt and pepper

Happy Thanksgiving!



A Foodpairing® Burger for Innovation leader Tom Kelley


World Creativity forum is Europe’s biggest conference on entrepreneural creativity. Foodpairing® created personalized burgers for the main speakers of this years edition. In this blogpost we present you – the Tom Kelley Burger – a burger as innovative and sophisticated as the man himself. 

Tom Kelley is the general manager behind award-winning design firm IDEO and author of The Art of Innovation. In his book Tom Kelley states that creativity is a mindset that anyone can cultivate, not a personality trait you either have or you don’t.” This mindset is of great value and of relevance to Foodpairing®. Through our Foodpairing® Inspiration Tool we try to cultivate and stimulate culinary creativity and help chefs to think-outside-the-box.

The Tom Kelley Burger : Pork Carnitas – Avocado – Mango – Tomato – Brie

We asked Tom Kelley to share his favorite ingredients with us: “I love the pulled pork meat that Latin America calls “carnitas”. I am a big fan of Brie cheeses, which you are very good in your part of the world. I also love mango, so some kind of mild mango salsa would be good. If that gives you enough ideas, go for it.” Based on his preferences and the Foodpairing® methodology we created a delicious burger.


Why does this combination of ingredients work so well? Seen on aroma-level, the crunchy pork carnitas with their roasted and melty flavors match well with the green and fruity aromas of the avocado, brie and mango. The chutney of mango and tomato adds a balanced acidic taste. The creamy texture of the guacamole and brie cheese goes along well with the crunchy meat and the fresh hints in mango.

The Tom Kelley Burger should be enjoyed with a LeFort Beer. The roasted, malty notes in the beer of Brasserie LeFort link it with the pork carnitas and its floral notes pair with tomato.

The Tom Kelley Burger Recipe (6 persons) 



350 g pork carnitas
145 g avocado
6 g red wine vinegar
10 g yoghurt
1/2 lemon, juice
5 g coriander, chopped
40 g olive oil
50 g onion, brunoise
10 g sugar
20 g rice vinegar
120 g tomato, brunoise
80 g mango, brunoise
120 g Brie cheese
6 burger buns

Preparation method

Slowly cook the pork in bouillon until tender. Tear apart in little strings. Fry the meat in hot olive oil until it becomes crunchy. Season with pepper and salt.

Mix the avocado, red wine vinegar, yogurt, lemon juice, coriander and olive oil until you get a smooth guacamole.

For the Mango-Tomato chutney, braise the onions in olive oil. Add the sugar and continue braising for a brief moment until it becomes a sugar syrup. Add the rice vinegar and let it reduce. Add tomato and stir for one minute. Add the mango and reduce further. Season according to taste with pepper and salt, let cool.

Add a thick layer of guacamole on your burger bun, put some pork carnitas on top. Dress some mango-tomato chutney on top and finish off with two pieces of Brie cheese. Take a bite and enjoy your Tom Kelley Burger.

Goat cheese with Tomato & oregano Bread by Albert Adrià

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 21.49.12

 A good quality cheese deserves more than the company of a mediocre piece of bread. What about creating a bread with ingredients that perfectly match your cheese using Foodpairing®?

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 21.50.43

The Catalan Albert Adrià, together with R&D Food Revolution, give a new dimension to the classic cheese platter. Using the Foodpairing® Inspiration Tool in the development process, they created different kinds of breads which pair up perfectly with 5 specific types of cheese.

The secret of the perfect cheese platter lies not only in the right combination, but also in the order of eating.  Each cheese has a different flavor depending on its aromas, taste and texture.

We start our cheese platter with goat and sheep cheeses accompanied by a piece of perfectly matching Tomato & oregano bread.

Goat or sheep cheese with Tomato & oregano bread

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 21.59.28

Goat and sheep cheeses are characterized by a high acidity level and a refreshing taste. They are a perfect starter for a cheese platter since they warm up and awaken our taste buds.

The green aromas present in these type of cheeses can also be found in the aromatic profile of tomato. Tomato and oregano share their spicy, citrus and floral notes. Enjoying a piece of goat or sheep cheese on a tomato-oregano bread makes perfect sense.


Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 22.00.06

In a next blog post we continue our cheese platter with White mold creamy cheeses and Beer & Whiskey bread!

Do you have a story to share, questions on this blog article or on Foodpairing®? Drop us a message on and we’ll get right back to you.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 23.57.41

New Foodpairing® ingredient: black garlic

Black garlic, commonly used in Asian cuisine, is not just a garlic variety. Black garlic is produced by fermentation, a technique that has been around for thousands of years. It is rather garlic in an aged state, which has caramelized through fermentation.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 22.42.20

During the fermentation sugars and amino acids in the garlic will start producing ‘melanoidin’, a dark-colored substance. After this process, the black garlic is cooled and dried for another week.


“Black garlic has morphed from an obscure dietary supplement to a trendy top-chef ingredient”  - Washington Post -

Can you imagine garlic without all its bad sides and even more nutritious? Black garlic has no pungent odor, no acrid bite and does not leave you with a bad breath. On top of that, it has nearly twice as many antioxidants as raw garlic.


On the Foodpairing® Inspiration Tool you can discover pairings with Bresc® Black Garlic Puree. Its taste is sweet and syrupy, with mainly roasted and fruity aromas, hints of honey & vanilla and warm spicy notes.


The Foodpairing® Kitchen created these 2 wonderful recipes with  Black Garlic Puree: a dessert with seasonal fruit and an exotic chicken dish.

Bresc® Black Garlic Puree - Chocolate – Plum – Strawberry

Its warm spicy notes link the black garlic to plum. On another note, the fruity, roasted aromas of the garlic we can also find in the aroma-profile of chocolate and strawberries.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 22.46.08

Bresc® Black Garlic Puree – Chocolate – Plum – Strawberry: Find this recipe on

Bresc® Black Garlic Puree - Chicken – Pineapple – Peanut 

The fruity, roasted aromas of the black garlic can also be found in pineapple, chicken & peanut. Its warm spicy notes are also present in pineapple and make these two ingredients pair well.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 22.45.57

Bresc® Black Garlic Puree – Chicken – Pineapple – Peanut: Find this recipe on 

Do you have a story to share, questions on this blog article or on foodpairing? Drop us a message on and we’ll get right back to you.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 23.57.41

Rum pairings : Zacapa XO

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 14.59.51

Rums are highly aromatic spirits, with some kinds containing over a 640 different aromas. These aromas are derived from the sugar cane and the fermentation process where the rum is distilled from and the wooden barrels they age in.


Foodpairing® analyzed the Zacapa XO Rum This is a premium rum coming from the highlands of Quetzaltenango Guatemala, where it is distilled from virgin cane honey. Most rums use ‘molasses’, a by-product of the sugar making process, however Zacapa is different and uses only the concentrated first press of sugar cane, known as virgin cane honey.

Zacapa XO is aged at 2300 m above sea level, where it develops its complex flavour and character over time. Zacapa uses the solera process, with an extra ageing stage in French oak barrels which previously held cognac, to mature their rum.


The Foodpairing® Kitchen decided to create some nice desserts that perfectly match 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

The floral notes present in the Zacapa XO, derived from the sugar cane honey, pair well with the raspberry. The aromas from the wood, absorbed during the aging in the wooden barrels, form a link to chocolate and black olive.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 21.18.33

Foodpairing® Inspiration Tool: Zacapa XO Rum – Beetroot – Dark Chocolate – Raspberry – Black Olive

Zacapa XO Rum

Zacapa XO Rum- Beetroot – Chocolate – Raspberry – Black Olive : Find this recipe on  

Zacapa XO – Chocolate – Banana - Liquorice 

The aromas absorbed during the aging on wooden barrels provides links to chocolate, banana and warm spices like licorice. The aging of the Zacapa on high altitude provides more intense aromas. By cooking the banana on low temperature we can enhance the banana aromas.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 21.50.28

Foodpairing® Inspiration Tool: Zacapa XO – Chocolate – Banana – Liquorice

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 21.39.00

Zacapa XO – Chocolate – Banana- Licorice: Find this recipe on 

Dessert Zacapa XO – Rice – Vanilla – Lemongrass – Cardamom – Blueberry – Coconut

The floral notes derived from the use of sugar cane honey provides aromatic links to blueberry, lemongrass and lemon. The aromas which develop during the aging on the wooden barrels form links to coconut and vanilla. 

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 22.13.12

Foodpairing® Inspiration Tool: Zacapa XO – Rice – Vanilla – Lemongrass – Caradamom – Blueberry – Coconut

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 22.02.02

Zacapa XO – Rice – Vanilla – Lemongrass – Cardamom – Blueberry – Coconut: Find this recipe on

Do you have a story to share, questions on this blog article or on foodpairing? Drop us a message on and we’ll get right back to you.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 23.57.41

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