Food Matches Made in Heaven

Words: Jess Spiro

Food Matches made in Heaven

February, the month of love and all things amorous. More importantly, for food lovers, it also happens to be the culmination of our summer season and some of South Africa’s best fruit is available throughout the month. Inspired by the ultimate book for food lovers, The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit, and in celebration of harmonious pairings, here are the flavour combinations we’re crushing on this month.

Raspberries and Goat’s Cheeseraspberry_goatThis flavour pairing might not seem very obvious but if you’re au fait with sweet and savoury food combinations or are partial to a cheese board with a fruity preserve, then you’re already halfway to making raspberry and goat’s cheese a regular feature in your repertoire. Ripe raspberries have a slight dairy or cream note to them, hence why they work so well with cream, yoghurt and, in this case, soft cheese. Pair them in the aforementioned cheese board, allowing the floral, fruitiness to cut through the cheesy richness, or give the flavours some room to mingle and throw together this easy Raspberry and Goat’s Cheese Salad with a Raspberry Dressing. 


Raspberry and Goats Cheese Salad with Raspberry Dressing

Mango and CoconutMango and Coconut

Easily one of the most classic combinations in Thai cuisine, especially in desserts. The reason behind this perfect pairing is that a ripe mango will leave whispers reminiscent of coconut at the back of your throat due to its creamy, fragrant flavour notes. Use this pairing in something other than coconut sticky rice with mango by trying your hand at this Frozen Mango Soufflé with Sweet Coconut Sauce –ideal for a summer dessert or even as part of a Valentine’s dinner menu.


Frozen Mango Soufflés with Sweet Coconut Sauce

Figs and Hard CheeseFig and cheese

Is there a more impassioned fruit than a fig? Shaped like a droplet of love, complete with a passionate red heart centre, it evokes images of Romans feeding their lovers. You even have to pout to bite into it! As with raspberries and goat’s cheese, here is another happy cheese and fruit marriage, this time with mature hard cheeses, such as Parmesan or Gruyere, developing complex nutty notes – the perfect accompaniments for sweet, sticky figs. Upgrade from the cheeseboard and give these Twice Baked Gruyère Soufflés with a Fig, Walnut and Rocket Salad a go.


Twice Baked Gruyere Soufflés with Fig, Walnut and Rocket Salad

Pineapple and GrapefruitPineapple and grapefruit

Not that pineapple needs much to elevate it, but a squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice will take it to tropical heights and places, at least in your head. In-season pineapple is nothing but a big hit of fruity, sweetness and grapefruit, with its musky, herbaceous citrus notes, will round out the sugar and add necessary balance. Enjoy these two flavour powerhouses in this island-inspired Pineapple and Grapefruit Mojito.


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