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bell pepper

Straffe Hendrik Heritage

The offices of Foodpairing are located on the outskirts of one of Belgium’s most beautiful cities, Bruges. We were of course very happy when the city’s brewery “De Halve Maan” contacted us and allowed us to do flavour analysis on their beers. From now on the beers of brewery De Halve Maan can be paired in the Foodpairing Explorer. Here is an overview of the flavour and Foodpairing potential of one of their most precious beers: De Straffe Hendrik Heritage.

The Straffe Hendrik Heritage is a dark quadrupel beer of 11% alc vol, it has a fruity spicy flavour with flowery and cheesy undertones. A baseline of caramel is underlined by a maturation in oak casks. This adds an oaky complexity to the beer that fades into chocolate, maple and coffee notes. Furthermore the cask adds a touch of vinous acidity to the beer that makes it a complaint food companion that does not overpower, even with its high alcohol. Straffe Hendrik Heritage is a beer with a refermentation in the bottle, so it can be kept for several years, during which time the taste will further evolve.

A green theme lies submerged under the fruity and caramel oaky powerhouses. This interesting observation let us to specifically search for Foodpairing matches in that green direction, in an attempt to highlight this fresh quality of the beer. We found that cucumber and tomato excel in doing just that, the latter also plays on the fruity theme of the beer. These ingredients were the seeds of the following two recipes.

It is well known that crab and other crustaceans pair well with dark and black beer types, this can be backed up by flavour analysis and Foodpairing® theory. Our first recipe can surely be added to the list of pro evidence; it pairs a crab salad to the Straffe Hendrik Heritage. Cucumber and apple – remember the green theme – were added to the salad providing bite and freshness. A tomato coulis was prepared with candied tomatoes in order to give body to the dish and strongly match the beer.

Thrilled by the green theme and the subtle links it makes with the beer; we took it one step further and went all in with a cucumber dessert paired with the Straffe Hendrik. White chocolate was used to add richness, and a texture contrast is being provided by broken coffee meringues. Mind that all ingredients can be found in the Foodpairing tree of the beer… Taste to believe!

A third recipe than we designed to pair with the Straffe Hendrik Heritage is an oxtail stew with aubergade and bell peppers. The links are somewhat more straightforward compared to the previous recipes; focusing on the big roasty and caramellic themes present in the beer. Though we could not resist adding a touch of stubborn innovation in the form of goat cheese, providing freshness while going along with the cheesiness in the beer.

Keep a close eye on the pro journal and website, soon we’ll launch two other beers from the same brewery.

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Les vergers Boiron recipes

Les Vergers Boiron introduced 4 new products at Sirha the end of January. These products were analyzed and added to the Foodpairing® database. Here is an overview of their flavor and Foodpairing potential.

The Fruit and Vegetable products of Les Vergers Boiron are very well known in Europe. Here are the products we added to our database (click on them to view the Foodpairing tree)

The yellow pepper contains a lot of fruity, citrus, floral and green cucumber-like aromas, making strong matches with other vegetables like tomato, cucumber, aubergine etc. Surprisingly, the yellow pepper matches fruits even better, combinations of yellow pepper with pear, strawberry or orange will surely inspire. Caramellic themes are more hidden, allowing combinations of the yellow pepper with coffee, chocolate and fried meat. This is one of the directions we chose to design our yellow pepper recipe towards, another theme we decided to highlight is its fruitiness. We made the yellow pepper puree into a mayonnaise sauce and prepared the beef with hay, making this dish quite extraordinary flavourwise. Though you wouldn’t say when looking at the picture…

The bergamot puree is characterized by green, floral and citrus aromas, making strong matches to fish and seafood. This puree contains the subtle typical flavours of earl grey tea and is quite suitable for freshening up dishes in a more exotic way than lemon juice.
We designed a classic fish dish with a bergamot twist. The bergamot brightens the flavours of the other ingredients while making its typical flavour contribution, steering this dish into a more challenging zone.

Because of the addition of pineapple and lemon juice to the ginger puree and lemongrass both products become increasingly complex, besides having ample sweet and savory combinations these products fit perfectly into a cocktail. So here are some cocktail recipes (more food recipes can be found on the product pages of the ginger puree and lemongrass)

We selected pear and cinnamon for our ginger cocktail, each highlighting another flavour theme of ginger and by itself a very classic combination. The resulting cocktail is highly suited as an after dinner drink.

We decided to highlight the spicy flavours of the lemongrass puree, so we selected green tea and bergamot in its Foodpairing tree. Finishing the cocktail with matching Sichuan pepper makes this oriental cocktail complete. Make sure to check out the strong taste contrasts between foam and cocktail!

We are also proud to announce we will analyze more products of Les Vergers Boiron, so stay tuned.

For more information about Les Vergers Boiron products visit: http://www.my-vb.com/lang/en/page/newsletter

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London Olympics cocktail party in the colors of the Olympics

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London are ready to open.

What about a summer London Olympics cocktail party with 6 different cocktails, each with a different color and taste representing the 6 colors of the Olympic games?

 

6 colors of the Olympics?

The symbol of the Olympic Games is composed of five interlocking rings, colored blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field. So 5 rings + white background makes 6 colors.

The symbol of the rings was originally designed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin the founder of the modern Olympic Games. The 5 rings represent the 5 continents and stand for passion, faith, victory, work ethic, and sportsmanship.

 

First step; the Collins

As the Games take place in London, the spirit in the cocktails could only be… London dry Gin.

A classic Gin cocktail is the Tom Collins.

 

In a first step we defined which basic recipe we wanted to use for the Collins.

The following basic recipe worked the best for us;

5 parts of gin

3 parts of simple sugar syrup

2 parts of lemon juice

3 parts of sparkling water

 

We used a Tumbler glass of about 300 ml and we didn’t shake, but stirred the cocktail. We lost too much flavor if we shaked the cocktail.

 

Second step; making 6 variations

 

Foodpairing is an ideal tool to make variations, little twists on classic cocktails.

How do you start? As our cocktail is a Gin cocktail, you have to explore the Foodpairing tree of Gin.

This is for example a Foodpairing tree of Gin. All ingredients around gin, can be combined with gin. The closer to the middle the better the match. Gin combines perfectly with cardamom, grapefruit, basil,…but all the ingredients in the tree match. They are also ordered into categories like meat, herbs and spices…

Following Foodpairing variations were selected based on the Foodpairing tree of Gin;

 

Red: red bell pepper, strawberry, vanilla

Yellow: mango, ginger, passion fruit juice

Green: pea, basil, white beer

Blue: blue curaçao, grapefruit juice

White: peach, almond, cream

Black: coffee, passion fruit

 

Recipe Red Collins

Bell pepper-strawberry syrup;

100 g red bell pepper (peeled)

100 g sugar

200 g water

0,5 g vanilla pod

40 g strawberry

 

Cocktail

50 ml gin

30 ml bell pepper-strawberry syrup

20 ml lemon juice

30 ml sparkling water

 

Mix the bell pepper with sugar, water and the vanilla pod in a pan. Heat on a moderate fire (confit the bell pepper). Leave to cool down. Mix with the strawberries with a blender.

 

Add the gin,  the bell pepper-strawberry syrup and lemon juice to a mixing glass. Stir. Strain in a tumbler glass filled with ice. Finish with sparkling water. Add some grinded black pepper as a finishing touch.

The other recipes, you can find here

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RUM – APPLE – CLOVE – LEMON or BELL PEPPER

While reading the website of Starchefs, I came across some Rum cocktails easy to explain by Foodpairing;
- Rum, apple, clove and lemon (Mixologist and Co-owner Johnny Santiago of Jo’s – New York, NY)

- Rum, bell pepper, limonade (Mixologist Eben Freeman of Tailor – New York, NY)

Looking to the Foodpairing tree of Havana Rum you see all these combinations popping up.

Also classical combinations with Havana Club 7 like the Golden Apple.

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