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Tag Archives: Taste buds

 

Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a cocktail to pair with your meal, and the right cocktail can complement a dish by either matching or contrasting its flavors. The great thing is you don’t need to be a master mixologist to dream up exciting pairings.

The key to great pairings is to consider flavors, just as you would do with wine. Olive oil in a dish might consider lemon as in a Lemon Drop, while something in a butter sauce might work great with a vanilla infused drink. 

One thing to consider is how your cocktail will match or contrast the flavors in a particular dish. For example, Bourbon is often paired with barbecue because the smoky flavor of the meat goes well with the smoky, woody flavor of the spirit. By the same token, something hot and spicy like an Asian dish or a spicy tuna roll would work well with the cooling flavors of a cucumber-watermelon Mojito.

When contrasting or complementing flavors, you need to make certain that the cocktail choice won’t overpower the dish. Pairing whisky with raw oysters is a bit of overkill, but the whisky would work well with duck or even a sloppy joe. A Manhattan would be a poor choice for sushi, but a cucumber martini would be quite complimentary.

Herbs in your cocktail also add a bit of interest and flavor, and give your drink a chance to bond with the meal. If you use herbs to match similar flavors in your drink and food, you add an extra layer of complexity to your meal and cocktail. You already know mint gives Juleps and Mojitos a delightful boost, so why not pair sage with tequila or gin with rosemary? Remember, you don’t always need to muddle; sometimes just a sprig as garnish provides the aromatic touch you need.

Just remember, there are NO RULES and all that matters is that a IT TASTES FABULOUS!

Untitled1The other night I was out with a few friends having dinner. Two of them ordered the same dish, one was happy, the other not so. I sat there and listened what each one said, it was the same, but one liked it: WHY? Has this ever happened to you?

My background is in physical therapy so I started thinking from the anatomy side of my brain. Are all taste buds created equal? Taste buds have microscopic hairs that send messages to the brain: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. There is a new one now, umami; savory. When I was in school I don’t think it was discovered yet.

Taste buds are replaced every two weeks, maybe that is why some things tasted better last week. As we age we have fewer taste buds, among other things.

Untitled2Taste buds can only take some of the credit for your favorite foods. Let’s hear it for the Nose, the good olfactory receptors that send messages to your brain that makes your mouth water when you know it is going to taste good.

Untitled3Last our eyes, definitely if it looks good it usually tastes good.

Now that we have everything working together, here are a few other issues to think about:

This all can be affected with a cold, allergies, or your mood. Doesn’t food and drinks taste better when your Happy? So is good tasting a science? I think so.

When we are creating food or drinks at Mister C’s Beach Bistro we really try to make sure we are hitting every sensation possible. The sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. Next time you’re creating, think what flavors you like paired together.

I know I like the taste of chocolate with salt, or prosciutto with pineapple or a peach, mango bloody mary. The perfect preparation: All the flavors working together to cause an explosion on my tongue, with a splash of olfactory, garnished with a good mood, it definitely tastes good!

Without your tongue, nose, eyes and good mood life would be flavor less, or should I say TASTELESS!