Back from a trip abroad I can finally relay the announcement of the 10th round of “They go really well together”. The round is hosted by David Barzelay at Eat Foo(d) and the challenge this time is to combine pineapple and blue cheese.
In the list Heston Blumenthal posted on eGullet a long time ago it was pointed out that for this combination a certain level of ketones (molecules with a special carbon oxygen bond) for the combination to work. Since there was no further information I did some further research – and voilí – lists of odorants for pineapple and gorgonzola cheese have been published! But surprisingly there was no overlap between the compounds for which odor activity values (OAV) had been calculated. A possible reason is that only 12 and 15 compounds for pineapple and gorgonzola respectively where quantified so that OAV’s could be calculated (notice that it is the quantification which is really time consuming when doing this kind of research). Another point is that different experimental techniques where used in quantifying the volatiles. But regarding the ketones the gorgonzola article at least shows that “natural” (dry, crumbly) gorgonzola has higher levels of ketones than “creamy” gorgonzola.
To conclude, there is a possibility that the overlap in impact odorants for pineapple and blue cheese has not been uncovered yet, or that this combination can not be explained by overlapping impact odorants (and I should quickly add that this is of course the case for most flavor pairings we encounter in the kitchen!).