28 January, 2023
How To Pair With Spices
Spices have been valued throughout history not only for religious ceremonies and medicine, but also for culinary purposes.
Spices are parts of plants that are densely loaded with flavor and aromas.
Spices are derived from the stems, roots, fruit, seeds, and flowers.
Science has studied and investigated that these flavors and aromas are compounds or chemicals produced by the plant to help it survive and reproduce.
How To Pair With Spices
Flavor is the key to great food.
Research has shown that the greater the range of flavors and mouth sensations from a dish, the tastier it will be.
Every plate of food, including desserts, needs spice, but some combinations work better than others.
There are spices that pair well together and pair well with other ingredients in a recipe.
The best part of cooking is being able to understand the fundamentals of spice pairings.
Chilies & Chocolate
If you’re a fan of chocolate or chiles, combining the two is a great way to learn more about the complex flavors of each.
This combination helps to highlight the characteristics of chilies and chocolate and combining the two brings out their deepest flavors.
Chilies are an ingredient you’re more likely to use in dinner than dessert.
This Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie is definitely sweet, but balanced by some salt and plenty of spices, like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice.
Tomatoes & Basil
Tomatoes and herbs go pair well together either raw or cooked.
Tomatoes are sweet and pair well with basil an herb that is strong in flavor, but equally sweet. Basil complements the flavors of tomato and adds another layer of sophistication.
Combine these two ingredients with other flavors like parsley, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and shallots, and you have yourself a Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Salsa.
Tomatoes and basil even pair well in the vegetable garden, according to Bonnie Plants.
Give these Tomato-Basil combination recipes a try –
Poultry & Thyme
Thyme can be enjoyed fresh or dried. It has a pleasant and subtle flavor that pairs most commonly in poultry dishes.
Thyme is an herb commonly used in French cooking and is a key ingredient in herbs de Provence. The flavor is strong and herbal with a pungent yet understated taste.
Apples & Cinnamon
Apples and cinnamon are a natural combination. The spice of the cinnamon complements the tart, crisp, sweetness of apples.
Another well known recipe of combining apples and cinnamon is Homemade Cinnamon Brown Sugar Applesauce.
Read More Here About Cooking With Cinnamon
Apples and cinnamon are a great combination with this One Skillet Savory Apple Butter Pork Chops.
Coconut Milk & Curry Powder
Curry powder is a spicy, pungent, fragrant blend of spices that if you use too much can be overwhelming. Using the right amount though is key to giving curry dishes their signature taste.
When you pair curry powder with coconut milk, it adds just the right amount of spice to the cool coconut flavored creamy milk.
Give this coconut-curry combination dish a try – Curried Chicken With Coconut Rice & Lime Yogurt Sauce.
Oranges & Clove
Apples and clove might seem like an ideal combination. But the earthiness of clove pairs perfectly well with the sweet, tart citrus flavors of orange, making for an elaborate and complex flavor.
But You Still Love Your Apples With Cloves – Then You’ll Love This Honey Apple & Spiced Vinaigrette
Lavender & Rosemary
Lavender’s sweet, fragrant flavor complements a range of foods, both sweet and savory.
Ingredients lavender goes well with include strawberries, blueberries, pears, lemon, orange, honey, sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme, black pepper, and chocolate.
Rosemary is most often used to season meats, like lamb, pork, and chicken.
Chopped rosemary can be added to bread or biscuit dough, and the flavor will infuse throughout during cooking.
Rosemary can be quite potent and is therefore usually used sparingly.
Honey & Chipotle
Sweet and spicy pairings have existed for centuries and can be found in cuisines around the world, Asian food as an example.
Sugar helps tame capsaicin, the chemical compound that give peppers their signature burning kick.
Sweet and spicy pairings are an unbeatable combination.
Whether it be a dessert, cocktail or a dinner, honey and chipotle balance each other and add depth to every dish.
Chipotle is smokey and spicy pepper that can be found powdered or in a paste and has a rich, deep flavor.
The sweet, molasses-like flavor of honey helps to neutralize the spiciness and add complexity and balance.
The act of eating is perpetual and with the first bite of food we become immersed in a sensory experience that helps us decode flavor.
As the food comes in contact with our taste buds, signals are sent to the brain to discern and interpret what we’re eating. Even smelling and hearing food as we chew can affect our perception of flavor.
The experience of eating and our brains power of deciphering makes room for numerous spice combinations that can actually complement each other.
So don’t be afraid to experiment pairing spices with other ingredients in a recipe. You just might find a winning pair.
If You Love Salads – Then You’ll Love Making These Combinations – How To Make A Salad
More Deliciously Yummy Recipes
- Pulled Pork Quesadillas With Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- Mexican Chorizo & Fried Potatoes – Mexican Chorizo y Papas Fritas
- Bacon Cheese Fries
- Roasted Peaches With Cinnamon Mascarpone
- Cheese Ravioli With Pesto & Marinated Tomatoes