Food combinations

Food Combinations

Every day we consume a great variety of different products without actually thinking whether it is wise to combine certain products or imagining that some unimaginable combinations may be truly delicious. Some foods are combined because they are unimaginable without each other, while the others are put together because some chemical reactions make them that much better in tandem.

Perhaps one of the ultimate food combinations is mashed potatoes and gravy. The gravy moistens the potatoes and adds that extra bit of flavour which everyone likes. When it comes to Mexican food, there is a combination of chips and salsa sauce. It is one of the most popular appetizers and snacks. Is there anything else? How about Oreo cookies and a glass of milk for dessert? Each of them are great on their own, but when put together they make a great combination.

When it comes to food combinations, which are based on slightly more scientific principles, cooks’ imagination may seem to run wild. Chips and salsa seem to make sense, but how about carrots and sugar? It might be strange to add sugar to vegetables, but it’s all about chemical reactions. The sugar strengthens the flavour of the carrots. That is how they are usually cooked in France, where they are called Vichy Carrots. Sugar can also improve the flavour of tomatoes, if added instead of salt. Salt increases the acidic flavour of tomatoes, whereas sugar improves the actual tomato flavour.

The taste of tomatoes can also be strengthened if a small twig of tomato plant is added. The branches contain the greater part of tomato flavour. Surprisingly the flavour of quite a few vegetables and fruits can be strengthened or improved if some unusual ingredients are added. Adding just a little bit of nutmeg to any potato dish will not give it nutmeg flavour, but it will give a new edge to the taste of potatoes. Strawberries are most often served with sugar, but if you try to sprinkle them with very finely ground pepper, you might be amazed. Unlike sugar, pepper heightens the flavour of strawberries.

Apart from these amazingly tasty combinations, there are ones that are definitely not recommended. And it is not due to taste this time. Some groups of products are known to be digested differently, in different part of the digestive system, using different chemical and at different times. That’s why combining them would be very unwise indeed.

Many of us like to enjoy a nice and tasty dessert after dinner. Well, science says that it is not a very good idea. Desserts cannot be digested after you have consumed a lot of carbohydrates and proteins at dinner. That is why they just lie in your stomach, creating fermented alcohols, vinegars and acids. Does not sound like a pleasant thing, does it?

It is not recommended to mix such acidic fruits as oranges, pomegranates, lemons, pineapples and kiwis with sweet fruits which include bananas, dates, grapes and dried fruits, because they will not digest together. When it comes to digestions, melon is a very special fruit. It cannot be combined with anything and that is it should not be combined with any other food.

When it comes to foods we truly like, the guidelines on combinations are just that – mere guidelines and not rules. However, the concept of combining certain food while avoiding some combinations is not a new one. Many centuries ago, people just used observations and common sense to come up with some of them. Nowadays there are firm scientific reasons which underlie the theory of food combinations. That is why these guidelines may be worth taking notice of. After all everyone wants to enjoy their food and at the same time avoid indigestion.

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