Category Archives: vanilla

The earthy flavor of beetroot and beetroot pairings

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THE DESERVED COMEBACK OF EARTHY BEETROOT

Beetroot has enjoyed a deserved comeback in recent years. This sweet root vegetable has a vibrant purple color and a typical sweet, rich and earthy flavor. As a close relative of spinach and chard, it is known for being a good detoxifier and containing a high nutritional value.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND BEETROOT’S EARTHY FLAVORS

Seen from a molecular level,  the most prominent aroma molecule responsible for the earthy flavor is ‘geosmin’. Its name is derived from the Greek γεω- “earth” and ὀσμή “smell”, because this aroma compound has a real distinct ‘earthy’ flavor.

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The human nose is extremely sensitive to geosmin and is able to detect it at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion. One teaspoon of geosmin, dissolved into an amount of water equal to 200 Olympic swimming pools, would be sufficient for the human sense of smell to detect it.  

Geosmin contributes to the specific strong earthy scent that occurs in the air during a summer rain fall. It is also noticeable in the characteristic smell of soil, or the muddy smell of freshwater groundfish, such as carp or catfish. High concentrations of this very same geosmin with its distinct early flavor we find back in our beloved beetroot.

DISCOVER BEETROOT PAIRINGS

With the Foodpairing Inspiration Tool you can search for different pairings with beetroot. We see that other root vegetables share their earthy aromas with the beetroot. Also ingredients like dark chocolate, nuts, coffee or roasted onions have earthy flavors and pair well with beetroot. This could be explained by the presence of ‘pyrazines’, which are aromatic structures formed during the process of roasting ingredients. These pyrazines also contain an earthy smell.

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FROM FOODPAIRING® TO RECIPE

Beetroot lends itself to a variety of both sweet and savoury dishes. The Foodpairing® Kitchen created two appetizers and a dessert using Les vergers Boiron Beetroot puree, an ideal puree to make different beetroot preparations.

Earthy flavored ingredients combine well with one another, however it is good to keep your dish balanced, too much earthiness can be overpowering.

Les vergers Boiron Beetroot - Mussel - Walnut - Vin Jaune – Vanilla 

As a first appetizer, we present you cooked mussels with Vin Jaune jelly, beetroot mousse and beetroot salad. The roasted walnuts and the vanilla share earthy flavors with beetroot, while the fruity aromas of the Vin Jaune are complementary to the earthiness.

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Les vergers Boiron Beetroot – Mussel – Walnut – Vin Jaune – Vanilla : Find this recipe on foodpairing.com.

Les vergers Boiron Beetroot - Scallop Saint Jacques  - Caviar 

As a second appetizer we serve you a scallop tartare with caviar and beetroot sorbet.  The fruity aromas of the Scallop Saint Jacques are in perfect balance with the earthy beetroot flavors.

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Les vergers Boiron Beetroot – Scallop Saint Jacques – Caviar : Find this recipe on foodpairing.com.

Les vergers Boiron Beetroot - Yoghurt – Raspberry

We finish with a yoghurt-beetroot cannelloni accompanied by beetroot meringue. The earthy flavors of the beetroot combine well with the fruitiness of the raspberry and the yoghurt. The sweet taste of the beetroot goes along well with the sweetness of the raspberry and the sourness of the raspberry gives freshness to the dish.

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Les vergers Boiron Beetroot – Yoghurt – Raspberry : Find this recipe on foodpairing.com.

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

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Light cream of polder potato with coffee, vanilla and Oud Brugge cheese

When we organized the first Flemish Primitives in 2009, we challenged several Belgian and foreign chefs to show how they apply Foodpairing. One of the results was this potato-coffee-vanilla-cheese combo by Hertog Jan. In the meantime it became a classic at this Belgian 3 Michelin star top restaurant. Tonight Gert De Mangeleer will demonstrate his classic dish at VTM news and explain how he uses Foodpairing.

Ingredients:

  • Polder potatoes
  • 250 g cream 35%
  • 200 g shellfish stock
  • 70 g fine olive oil
  • 0,5 l grape seed oil
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Ground coffee
  • Oud Brugge

Preparation:

For the cream:
Cook the potatoes in their skins in the oven at 250 degrees Celcius and remove the skins when they are cooked. Put 500 g of potatoes in the food processor with the cream, shellfish stock and olive oil, blend and sieve, adjust to taste. Place in an espuma bottle and use 3 gas cartridges, keep warm in a bain-marie at 65 degrees Celcius.

For the vanilla oil: Perfume the grape seed oil with the vanilla. Grate the cheese. Spray the potato cream into a bowl, sprinkle some freshly ground coffee on top ans flavour with 1 spoon of vanilla oil, and then finish with a spoon of grated “Old Brugge”.

 

Cucumber soup recipe variations

Summer days are coming, time for some refreshing cucumber soup. Find here some surprising combos to try out.


Based on the tree, you can make following cucumber soup recipe variations  like Hubert Keller with grapes, almond and vanilla

or walnut (like Michael Symon) or melon, white truffle,…

Click on the dynamic Foodpairing tree to see more combinations. Copy the embed to paste the Foodpairing tree into your own website.

BREAST MILK FOODPAIRING

Jocky of The Fat Duck asked we once if I knew where to find human breast milk. Next to making somebody pregnant, I also proposed to recreate the breast milk by a combination of other ingredients. We are not there yet, but as we have the analysis, we can already suggest what to combine with breast milk.

This Foodpairing tree of human breast milk shows some possible combinations;

One of the shops selling breast milk icecream is Icecreamists, located in Covent garden in London. They created a breastmilk, lemon zest, vanilla ice cream, called the Baby Gaga (what’s in a name). more info you can find in this article by the Daily mail. I have no clue if this is a nice icecream (and not only shocking), do you? And what else would you combine with breast milk? Make a mayonnaise with it and serve it with french fries?

The interchangeability of the breast milk could also be nice for a marshmallow Dominique Persoone once made for our The Flemish Primitives (left upper corner). The other ones are a Foodpairing with grass, a praline filled with water and the last making a Foodpairing link to the sea with oyster and salt.