Can you nutella it?
In 2012, I linked to an ACS webinar on food pairing and to the website FoodPairing.com to highlight how sometimes some flavours work well together. The Foodpairing website also has a video explaining how to use it.
The Wiki page on food pairing has more info and links.
People have also use flavour pairing for wines:
But now a group of scientists have done research on how flavours that do not complement each other can also come together to make delicious food.
Spices form the basis of food pairing in Indian cuisine
Anupam Jaina,†, Rakhi N Kb,† and Ganesh Baglerb,*
Affiliations: aCentre for System Science, Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342011, India. bCentre for Biologically Inspired System Science, Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342011, India. †
These authors contributed equally to this work
*Corresponding author: E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Culinary practices are influenced by climate, culture, history and geography. Molecular composition of recipes in a cuisine reveals patterns in food preferences. Indian cuisine encompasses a number of diverse sub-cuisines separated by geographies, climates and cultures. Its culinary system has a long history of health-centric dietary practices focused on disease prevention and promotion of health. We study food pairing in recipes of Indian cuisine to show that, in contrast to positive food pairing reported in some Western cuisines, Indian cuisine has a strong signature of negative food pairing; more the extent of flavor sharing between any two ingredients, lesser their co-occurrence. This feature is independent of recipe size and is not explained by ingredient category-based recipe constitution alone. Ingredient frequency emerged as the dominant factor specifying the characteristic flavor sharing pattern of the cuisine. Spices, individually and as a category, form the basis of ingredient composition in Indian cuisine. We also present a culinary evolution model which reproduces ingredient use distribution as well as negative food pairing of the cuisine. Our study provides a basis for designing novel signature recipes, healthy recipe alterations and recipe recommender systems."
Food pairing works on the basis that foods with similar chemicals in them will taste well together. Indian cuisine works the opposite "more the extent of flavor sharing between any two ingredients, lesser their co-occurrence". One reason this works is that the curries often made up of many different flavours (unlike most other cuisines that only one or two spices in each dish) and these blend together to make the unique flavours.
Here are just three curry powder recipes: