Take the time to really smell fresh pineapple. What odours can you describe? Fruity? Tropical? That's right. However, more difficult to detect will be its caramel, floral, citrus or butter notes. Let's have a closer look and discover pineapple's full Foodpairing® potential.
Pineapple's aroma profile
Before digging into pairing with pineapple and revealing its best matches, Foodpairing® always starts with an aroma-analysis. This information allows us to calculate pairings, because when ingredients share aromas, they will pair well. Read more on the science behind Foodpairing.
We have visualised this complicated chemical information for you, in an easy understandable aroma wheel. The different aroma molecules are sorted out and placed under more general 'aroma descriptors'.
It's no surprise that pineapple is mainly characterised by fruity aromas. More specific, they go into the tropical direction.
That's why pineapple is a good companion for tropical fruits such as mango, banana or passion fruit but also for oranges or grapefruit. If we have a look at more inland fruits then apple, pear and peach share these tropical-fruity notes.
Its the very same fruity flavours that are present in alcoholic beverages such as rum - rum flamed pineapple makes perfect sense - cognac and several types of beer.
Also many kinds of cheeses have fruity aromas and will therefore be great companions to fresh pineapple.
Dish created by Sang-Hoon Degeimbre — chef of restaurant L'Air du Temps — combining pineapple with blue cheese Fourme d'Ambert.
Pineapple - Fourme d'Ambert - fennel - apple
photo by Jean-Pierre Gabriel
Besides its main fruity theme, fresh pineapple also contains caramel-roasted aromas.
This type of aromas is also developed during the baking-roasting process (Maillard-reaction). We see these aromas return in baked meat or fish.
Even ingredients such as soy sauce, fondant chocolate, strawberry, tomato, black tea, black garlic and of course caramel are examples of ingredients with caramel flavours.
Here's a dish playing on the caramel theme: baked chicken with black garlic and poached pineapple.
Citrus-green aromas present in fresh pineapple link it to some types of fish, such as salmon. For Jamie Oliver's Big Feastival this summer we created a tomato-pineapple salsa with salmon and basil.
Pineapple - salmon - tomato - basil
Rose-floral and Geranium-floral aromas
The descriptor of 'floral aromas' is very general. Aroma-analysis shows us that it is mainly geranium and rose-like aromas defining the smell of pineapple.
The rose-aroma links pineapple to raspberry, lychee, tomato or black tea. Also rum, whiskey and cognac share these rose-aromas with pineapple.
Another interesting link built on the rose-floral aromas is pineapple-coffee. The Colombian Sierra Nevada coffee of Cafe de Colombia is a good example.
Café de la Sierra Nevada – St-Môret – pineapple
You might not expect it, but there's a butter-cheesy side to fresh pineapple. It's these butter-cheesy aromas that often match it to coffee, bread, chocolate and certain types of cheese, such as cream cheese.