A little while back, we very briefly covered the concept of a Flavour Profile; a means of categorising the various flavours and tastes of food as our taste buds register them. There are entire thesis’ and even books on the subject that are well worth looking into if the subject captures your interest, but we wanted to take a very quick (and very stripped down) look at one of the more unusual ways the art of the flavour profile has been used, in recent years especially; the contrasting tastes of sweet and savoury flavours.
The most common form of the practise you’re likely to be familiar with is the Hawaiian Pizza, which combines both Ham slices and Pineapple chunks. It’s a very hate it or love it thing, and as a general rule people seem to baulk at the idea when applied elsewhere. Salted Chocolate is a more recent and highly controversial example. Initially, it does seem like a strange combination, but as with many things in the cooking world, there is a definite science to it.
<2>Contrasting Tastes for Beginners
In the most basic terms, the idea is that the two heavily contrasting flavours both pull flavour out of each other, dually emphasising the sweet and savoury notes in a way that makes them hit the taste buds with more impact then they would on their own. There is, of course, a little more to it then that- you wouldn’t mix together Sardines and Strawberry Syrup, for example, expecting it to work under the same principal (well, you might, but we absolve ourselves of any responsibility for how such an experiment could turn out).
The contrast of the sweet and the savoury is only one aspect of the profile in execution; you’re still looking for flavours that compliment each other in certain ways whilst contrasting in others. This is why, for example, Roast Turkey is so intrinsically linked with Cranberry sauce, or Pork Cuts with Apple Sauce; the actual flavours of the meats and the sauces outside of the profile they fall under work with each other in smaller degrees, even if still in contrast.
Again, we must stress that this is a very basic and stripped down explanation, and fully encourage you to read more into the subject matter. Knowing how flavour profiles work can and will give you an edge in the kitchen that can really wow your friends and family, and as we’ve said many times before, we are as passionate about customers getting the best out of their ultra modern kitchens as we are about providing them.