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Holiday Inspiration: Pumpkin & Cranberry Flavor Pairing

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This holiday season surprise your diners with an innovative dish combining flavors inspired by this pumpkin and cranberry pairing analysis. The scientific method of food pairing was most famously applied by molecular gastronomy Chef Heston Blumenthal and is based on the principal that foods combine well with one another when they have similar molecular compounds in common. Molecular profiling for food pairing is very helpful to inspire creativity, learn about ingredients your are not familiar with and sometimes come up with odd but tasty combinations.

Once the flavour components of a particular food have been analyzed, they are compared to a database of several hundreds other food and beverage products. Products which have flavour components in common with the original ingredient are retained. The results are then graphically presented on a Foodpairing tree. The chosen food, in this case pumpkin and cranberry, is placed at the center of the tree and surrounded by possible combinations. The shorter the branch, the better the match to the central ingredient.

The FoodPairing trees below are interactive. As you hover the mouse over the branches you'll see a + sign appear. If you click on it, the food category (meats, fruits, etc) representing that branch will expand to show you more good pairing foods. You can then click on the main food at the center to go back to the main tree. If you click on a specific food in a branch, you'll be taken to the website to see the tree of that ingredient (some foods are free, but others require a subscription).