The Power of Food And Drink Pairings

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

I’ve never really given much thought to why foods are paired the way they are but it just makes sense. Burgers and fries, bacon and eggs, fish and chips.  There’s something baked into the crust of how we perceive foods that makes us want to pair them. When it comes to pairing foods with one another (or, my personal preference, pairing them with a beer or wine) we tend to think about how the textures, tastes, and compositions will complement one another.

Food is, after all, just chemistry and the way in which chemical compounds from certain foods react to one another in your stomach can have a staggering impact on how your body absorbs it. We all want, quick and easy yet healthy and nutritious meals and perhaps pairing the right foods can help us to crack the code.

Chili & Beer

Hot dogs and a baseball game pair so nicely but so does chili and a sunny day. If the sun is out some chili, a hand full of nachos, a few cold ones, and some good company is the perfect mix. But if you pair your chili and brewsky correctly you can eliminate all the inevitable bloating that comes with such an infamous pairing. Check out the Alcohol Professor to help you in pairing the right beer tastes with your chili. Another tip: Don’t drink beer straight out of the bottle. This gives the c02 in your beer nowhere to go and leaves you feeling bloated. Which means you will get fuller faster and not be able t enjoy the rest of your meal! Pour it into a glass and be sure to get a good head of foam on there. Get that “good pour,” yenno? The foam will improve the flavor and the bigger head of glass on your glass will reduce the bloating. Science!

Onions & Chickpeas

If you’re not talking hummus, I don’t wanna talk. Red onion hummus is a healthy and tasty snack that can be spread on virtually anything from cucumber slices to slabs of wholewheat bread. But when you combine the sulfur from the onions with the iron and zinc from the chickpeas this can help the transportation of iron and oxygen around the body to enable better concentration and improved energy levels. Have a big presentation coming up? Maybe it’s finals week now you have to learn a semesters worth of materials in two days. Break out the onions and hummus, but don’t forget to brush your teeth.

Eggs & Salad

We tend to head for salads when we’re looking for a low-fat option, but adding some healthy fats to your greenery can have some really impressive nutritional benefits. Many of the nutrients in salad leaves are fat soluble, meaning that adding some scrambled or hard boiled eggs could increase your absorption of carotenoids, like lycopene and beta-carotene, which are fancy science words that are great for a glowing complexion, a healthy immune system and can even reduce your risk of cancer.

Tofu & Bell Peppers

Many vegetarians and vegans get their protein power from tofu, but this versatile foodstuff (packed with protein and iron) can be combined with bell peppers for a hit of vitamin C that’s more potent than that of an orange. If us millenials are known for anything, it should be strong immune systems. This not only increases the amount of iron absorbed but also alters protein signaling that can lead to increased muscle growth and improve your body’s production of collagen for naturally youthful skin.

By pairing two things which are delicious and satisfying on their own, we can unlock symphonies of flavor. But what if that’s only the tip of the iceberg? What if with a little knowledge and a flair for experimentation you could power up your nutrition while also relieving yourself of the negative side effects of eating certain foods?

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