Triple flavour pairing: garlic, coffee and chocolate

Preparing for a presentation on flavour pairing, Bernard Lahousse at Food for design visited Franí§ois Benzi at Firmenich, a large supplier of aroma chemicals and perfume ingredients. Bernard plans to launch a website dedicated to flavour pairing soon, and in the mean time he posts about it on his blog, including this interesting expansion of the flavour pairing concept:

…you can also use foodpairing to pair food that doesn’t match. Like chocolate and garlic. The trick then is to search for a third food product that has something in common with chocolate and with garlic. An example is coffee. Coffee has flavour components in common with garlic: Dimethyl disulfide and with chocolate: Methyl pyrazine.


My challenge to you all is to come up with recipes that include garlic, chocolate and coffee. Any suggestions?


  1. I’ve actually got a Spanish recipe somewhere – shrimps with chocolate. There’s basically a sauce that’s flavoured with both chocolate and garlic. Now I guess adding a bit coffee to that mixture wouldn’t be a crime anymore!

  2. I googled for ‘chocolate’ and ‘garlic’
    on the website of The Good Scents Company.According to the information on that website chocolate an garlic have
    a natural occurence of 5-methyl furfural and butyraldehyde in common. There are more flavour components which are used [whatever that means] in coffee and chocolate and garlic.

    More challenging I think than finding|creating a savoury dish with the tricombination is to find|create a sweet thing. I once tried garlic in a cake which was not a succes. I guess I should have used at least coffee ;-).

  3. M. suggested finding a sweet thing with these things… how about a thick hot chocolate flavoured with chili and cinamon with a roasted garlic, coffee& honey foam on the top, garnished with cacao powder. Haven’t tried it yet but i will soon….

  4. So a sweet dish? There’s a restaurant in Tallinn that serves garlic ice cream. Yes, you heard me right:) I’ve been eager to try the dessert, but haven’t yet had the chance. So why not just throw the ingredients into ice cream?
    Caramelised garlic on top of a dessert would be an idea too.

  5. Nice as it sounds, I have strong doubts about this theory. Flavour is not the result of single components but the combination of many. In my opinion, the mere presence of an aroma compound in two different ingredients does not necessarily mean good pairing. We have 350 olfactory receptors, each taste is thus determined by a combination of activation of these receptors, (350! in total, quite a lot…). Whether ingredients combine well is thus the result of a good combination of the spectrum of flavours. In addition, cultural background is also important in flavour perception.
    I think establishing a scientific basis for flavour will be very difficult.

  6. I found this in my surfings today. It looked interesting and not totally offensive:


    1 cup sherry
    ½ cup sugar
    ½ teaspoon vanilla
    ½ teaspoon lemon juice
    2 cups garlic cloves, peeled (don’t use extra large or extra small cloves)
    WHITE CHOCOLATE FOR DIPPING About ¼ lb. (This is often found in groceries with large bulk food)

    Simmer garlic cloves in wine-sugar-vanilla mixture until tender. Remove, drain and cool, cloves not touching each other, on waxed paper or plastic wrap.

    Melt the dipping chocolate. It melts easily in microwave, on defrost (use glass dish).

    Either spear individual cloves with a toothpick or thread multiple cloves on thin bamboo skewers. Spoon melted chocolate over the garlic cloves. Let cool for chocolate to harden. Eat same day if possible, as moisture in garlic will affect the chocolate coating.

    Also, someone had mentioned garlic ice cream:

    Title: Garlic Ice Cream

    1 1/2 ts Unflavored gelatin
    1/8 ts Salt
    1/4 c Cold water
    2 tb Lemon juice
    2 c Milk
    2 Garlic cloves; minced
    1 c Sugar
    2 c Whipping cream

    Soften gelatin in water. Heat the milk just to a simmer, add sugar and
    salt and stir to dissolve. Dissolve the gelatin in the hot milk. Cool, then
    add the lemon juice and garlic. Chill in freezer until slushy. Whip the
    cream until thick but not stiff, and stir into the mixture. Freeze in a
    mold or foil covered tray. Top with strawberry fruit toppings, or fresh

  7. How about an affogato using expresso an hot chocolate and a scoop of garlic ice cream to finish it of?
    I don’t know whether I’d like it personally but I’d certainly taste it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.