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Food Pairing: Down to a Science in Germany


Culinary innovation is a growing trend in Germany – Europe’s largest food market. Often disregarded in the past for its gourmet landscape, Germany is fast establishing itself as something of an appetizing destination for food enthusiasts, with world-class culinary offerings and adventurous new creations. In line with this, a key trend emerging within the German market is that of food pairing.

Modern food pairing extends beyond the standard sommelier recommendations - instead of taking a molecular-based approach to establishing adventurous new ‘taste experiences’. Diners who might eschew a curious combination of ingredients (such as seafood and ice cream) may take comfort in the fact that such novel food pairings are determined by an exacting scientific process (using Gas Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry, or GC-MS). The GC-MS process involves the identification of aroma compounds (which are crucial to human taste) within foods and the resulting dataset identifies algorithms relating to how well different ingredients may combine. The result is seemingly irregular food pairings, across the five human taste profiles of salt, sweet, bitter, sour and umami.

Prolific chef Heston Blumenthal has been an influential driver of the molecular-based culinary movement, through his Berkshire restaurant ‘The Fat Duck’, which opened in 1995. Since then, food-pairing has experienced a growth in global popularity. German chefs are no exception to those embracing the trend, with popular restaurants such as ‘Landhaus Mönchenwerth’ in Düsseldorf leading the way in the field. German food industry publications are referring to the ‘molecular dining’ concept as a defining food trend of the moment and one which is expected to experience further advancement over the coming years.

This growth identifies solid opportunity for Irish food producers keen to enter or progress within the German foodservice. More of Ireland’s finest food producers are experimenting with unconventional food pairings themselves – a strong example of which includes the serving of mature Cashel Blue® cheese dipped in 85% dark chocolate and served with a craft Irish porter. With a fondness for and trust in Irish produce already existing in Germany – experimental combinations using fantastic Irish ingredients offer an additional USP to producers gaining a foothold in the market.

For more info please contact info@bordbia.ie

Source: Bord Bia - Food Pairing: Down to a Science in Germany