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Posted:  |  Updated: 08/31/12 10:48 AM ET

Food Pairings: The Best Unusual Flavor Combinations

How many of us have had nights where we had no idea what to eat? Nothing sounds appealing, nothing feels inspiring, and so you sit mentally listing off all your options: Pepperoni pizza? Not interested. Grilled salmon? Nah. Tacos? Eh.

The problem is, you've been eating the same foods, with the same flavor combinations, for years. For some of us that equates to at least half a century of repeating the same exact dishes, with the same flavor combinations; this can easily translate to one too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And, well, that can get a little boring.

Lucky for you, there are scientists hard at work discovering new ways to pair old ingredients and they share their findings online, at Foodpairing. Based on a scientific flavor analysis, foods that share major flavor components are paired together -- and often in ways that our intuition wouldn't think of.

Scientists have discovered that grilled cheese isn't only delicious with tomato soup -- you can make it with chocolate and have your dinner and dessert in just one sandwich. They've also found that there might be a better topping for bagels than cream cheese. Exciting, isn't it? And that's just the beginning. Click through the slideshow below to find more "ground-breaking" food pairings, and never tire of food again.

What do you think of these food pairings? Leave a comment.

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  • Heinz Ketchup And Banana

    Looks like ketchup isn't just for french fries and burgers anymore. FoodPairing has found that it goes well with bananas, too -- which makes sense considering how sweet ketchup is. See how this combination works in this <a href="" target="_hplink">Almond sponge cake with poached bananas and ketchup ice cream</a> recipe.

  • Bagel And Foie Gras

    Forget the cream cheese, where's the foie gras? While the actual flavor pairing here is not outrageous, there's just something exciting about combining these two polar opposite ingredients. Bagels, which are available at any New York deli, topped with foie gras, a French delicacy, is definitely a genius pairing.

  • Dark Chocolate And Parmesan

    We can make chocolate go with almost any ingredient, but when it's paired with parmesan it truly is a genius pairing. The two complement each other beautifully, drawing out subtle flavors you might otherwise miss. Give it a try with the <a href="" target="_hplink">Dark Chocolate and Parmesan Grilled Cheese Sandwich</a> recipe.

  • French Cheese And Almond Cookies

    This genius food pairing doesn't call for just any kind of French cheese or almond cookies, but more specifically Caprice des Dieux and Jules Destrooper Almond Thins. Why these two specific brands make a genius pairing is unclear to us, but it sure does sound like a great idea.

  • Iberico Ham And Warm Butter

    This sandwich has been made in Europe for quite some time, but the FoodPairings site confirms that it's a genius combination. Put that mayo and mustard away, butter will make your old ham sandwich new again. Once you have a taste of this sandwich combination, you'll be wondering why you didn't try it sooner.


Filed by Julie R. Thomson  |