Sakura Foodpairing dessert with asparagus

Last month a crew of the Japanese television NHK visited our office in Bruges and one of the research lab we cooperate with. Yesterday it was broadcasted.
Our chef Peter made a dessert based on the Foodpairing of a typical Japanese ingredient; Sakura (pickled cherry blossoms)

Sakura was turned into an ice-cream. Asparagus is used raw in thin slices. Raw asparagus has some sweet and spicy notes, which makes it applicable in a dessert. The floral notes from the sakura match fruits like raspberry. The almond aroma in the sakura combines with chocolate. Resulting in following dessert; Sakura icecream, raw asparagus, raspberry, chocolate spongecake.


Elderflower cocktail inspiration

Time (May-June) of the year to pick elderflowers to make syrups, vinegars, aromatized wines…

Recipe elderflower syrup:

600 g sugar
600 g water
1 lemon
Elderflower (without the stems – flowers have to contain loads of pollen)

Make the sugar syrup by boiling the sugar with water. Add the lemon. Cool down.
Put a container full with the flowers.

Pour the sugar syrup until completely covered.

Some of the combinations you can make with Elderflower;

As Metaxa is very close to the center of the Elderflower (meaning it combines very well), a cocktail Elderflower syrup + Metaxa is making a lot of sense.

Our recipe for the Whistle tree;
10 ml Elderflower syrup
15 ml Metaxa
40 ml sparkling water

Garnish with elderflowers (fresh or confit)

We called it Whistle tree as the name of Elderflower (Sambucus) originates from the Greek word for whistle (wood was used to make whistles out of it).

The cocktail begins with the floral notes of the elderflower and the Metaxa and finishes with the nutty, sherry flavors of the Metaxa.


Beer and Foodpairing

You want to make some surprising Foodpairing combinations with specialty beer, check out the more than 40 Beer and Foodpairing recipes we have on our Foodpairing website.

Combine some of the good stuff of Belgium in Belgian endives – Belgian chocolate – Vanilla ice-cream + Cuvée du château

Raspberry – beetroot – mackerel + St.-Louis Premium Framboise

Lobster – passion fruit – sweet potato + St.-Louis Premium Kriek

and loads of other recipes


As you know we do quite some flavor analysis. The new ingredients we select by asking chefs, bartenders, food industry. But not all requested ingredients we analyze. For example we got recently the request to analyze Bluefin Tuna, but this type of ingredient we will not add to our database due to overfishing.We care about World’s Food Sustainability. One of the checklists we use is the Good Fish Guide by the Marine Conservation Society.

The difficulty is often that the ‘Good Fish’ depends very much on the location, the technique of fishing.So the answer is not black and white, not always that straight forward.
Like Mugaritz does serve Tuna, but catched into a sustainable way by a local traditional fisher.
But we have to start somewhere. Our website we give a short overview, but please give us your thoughts.

This movie Ocean2012 explains visually the risk of catching too much fish.

Woodsy flavors are hot! Wood smoke flavor chart

Smoke signals, an article by the Wall Street Journal, points at the growing frequency of smoke to the dessert menu.
We also noticed it by requests of chefs to add different types of smoke to our database.
This Foodpairing tree (a wood smoke flavor chart) will give you some inspiration about where wood smoke makes a good match, more specific types of wood will follow in the future. All the ingredients around the center can be matched with wood smoke.

E.g. Bourbon icecream tart with bacon and smoked salt by Craigie on Main. In the Foodpairing tree you see vanilla (in the group of herbs and spices) very close to the middle of the chart. This indicates it is a very good match, but you will also find bacon, chocolate, coffee, rooibos tea…


National cheese day

We added already quite some Foodpairing recipes with cheese (click here e.g. for goat cheese recipes – scroll down) to the website.
For National Cheese Day we added a few new combinations linking beer to cheese. More recipes (about 20) will be added soon with different Belgian beers.E.g. cream cheese – pineapple – mango – bourbon whisky linking to Gueuze Fond Tradition.

Link recipe

Kumara combinations by Attica

Not familiar with Kumara (sweet potato)  I came across a dish from the tasting menu by Attica; Kumara-almond-Pyengana (a type a cheddar cheese from Tasmania)

(source picture)
The Foodpairing tree of sweet potato contains indeed ingredients like almond, egg, buckwheat, shallot (indicated in bold), but also have a look at the other ingredients around sweet potato and come up with other existing combinations

As you can see the ingredients selected by chef Ben Shewry cluster all around the sweet potato; egg yolk, cheddar cheese, almond, shallot, buckwheat. So a nice example of Foodpairing.

The Chimay we didn’t analyzed yet, but we are working on loads of Belgian beers which will be added in the coming time.

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.