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.
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.
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.
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.
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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