TGRWT #21: Sage and roasted peanuts

It’s been a couple of months since the last round of “They go really well together” where food bloggers around the world explore food pairings based on similarities in their aroma profiles. The similarity is not based on the concentrations of the aroma components, but rather the odor impact of the components to the overall aroma (and in case you wondered: impact does vary with concentration, but it varies even more with the detection threshold). In other words, what this food pairing does is to point at two foods (which often may seem quite different) and say that these actually have something in common. And because of that it could be worthwhile to try and use them together when cooking. The 21st round of TGRWT is hosted by Greg over at Humbling attemts at creativity, and the foods to pair are sage and roasted peanuts. Head over to his announcement post for more details on how to participate. The deadline is June 1, so there is plenty of time for some creative cooking the next couple of weeks! If you’re not yet familiar with TGRWT you may want to have a look at some of the previous TGRWT rounds.


  1. Hi Martin!
    Love your blog, by the way.

    I find the flavor pairing concept via shared odorants intriguing- how do you choose the pairings? Looking at some of the older posts, it is not clear. Do you use analytical data to choose pairings? A note on flavor impact- if you’re using something like an Odor Activity Value, this is a placeholder for impact by comparing the concentration present of a compound in a food to its threshold in that food. So it depends on the RATIO of concentration to threshold, which means that two compounds could have a very similar impact at different (like, one is 10000X higher) concentrations, as long as their concentration:threshold ratio is similar, or so the thinking goes…

    also, it seems to me (no offense meant-I think the TGRWT is very fun and interesting!) that choosing pairings based on odorants in common might be a little simplistic- in other words, I understand that the point of the exercise is to invent new food pairings based on shared chemistry, but it seems to me like a big part of “deliciousness” in food is also in the balance and perceptual “tension” between very different flavors, for example, garlicky thiols and diacetyl and maillard-type toasty molecules from butter. This would certainly seem to hold true for tastes, and probably for taste-odor combinations too. Any thoughts?

    But I am very interested in this pairing…it seems like it might present in very different ways for sweet and savory dishes.

  2. Arielle: Thank you for your comment! You are absolutely right about odor activity values. I’ve written quite lot about that actually – but I realize that it’s not necessarily easy to find those posts. You can start with this post:

    Or just check the tag OAV:

    And in case you’re interested I also had a discussion with Jorge Ruiz about flavor pairings in the comments to this post:

    The pairings are now mainly based on the Belgian foodpairing website (which is now based on OAV).

    I also totally agree with you on the fact that there is no direct link between the flavor pairings and “deliciousness”. In fact, very often in TGRWT the participants find that you need some contrasting elements. That’s also the reason why I wrote in the introduction this time that: “what this food pairing does is to point at two foods (which often may seem quite different) and say that these actually have something in common”. That they go well together doesn’t automatically mean that they are a perfect match just by themselves. It’s more that the two foods don’t “collide” if you see what I mean. But in order to really create something delicious, you’ll probably have to throw in a couple of extra ingredients!

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