Have you ever noticed that certain ingredients make chocolate taste even more delicious? The sense of taste is remarkable, and certain pairings can complement the flavors in both the chocolate and the food it’s paired with.
If you love chocolate pairings, you have many options of foods to combine with gourmet chocolate.
Here are two of the most famous chocolate pairings and the science behind them, so you can appreciate the magic the next time you open a box of gourmet confections.
1. Chocolate and Caramel
Tempered chocolate is smooth, shiny, and maintains a snap when you break it apart, which creates the perfect complement to gooey caramel. Commonly flavored with notes of orange or sea salt, caramel has been paired with chocolate for centuries, but why?
In addition to creating an interesting texture profile, salted caramel helps to stimulate the sweet receptors on your tongue, creating a more intense flavor. In fact, each taste bud on your tongue is filled with cells that respond to bitter, salty, sour, umami, and sweet tastes. However, scientists have discovered that some of the sweetness receptors that were traditionally considered only to be in your gut are actually present amongst these cells, including a special cell called an SGLT1 receptor.
This particular type of receptor only works to transmit tastes of sweetness when salt is present, which is one of the reasons people love salty-sweet snacks like chocolate-covered caramels.
However, the balance between the salt in the caramel and the sugar in the chocolate needs to be approached with caution, since too many sodium ions can leave the taster with more of a salty sensation than a sweet one. Nevertheless, with the right proportions, expert chocolatiers can give chocolate tasters a remarkably sweet experience — with just the right amount of chewiness.
2. Chocolate and Almonds
While each ingredient is phenomenal on their own, melted chocolate and roasted almonds seem to create an entirely new flavor — which, as it turns out, is actually true. When paired together, chocolate and almonds harness the power of the salty-sweet phenomenon described above.
In addition, food researchers have found that the molecular structure of chocolate and almonds complements one another, creating a truly delicious pairing.
Although the flavors of both chocolate and almonds are naturally similar, from their aromatic scents to their individual depths of flavor, scientists explain that the molecular makeup of chocolate complements the molecular makeup of almonds, creating a flavor that tastes just right.
Additionally, chocolate and almonds create an interesting treat because of their similar textures and natural fat content. The natural oils in almonds help to spread the flavor of chocolate across the tongue. Also, since almonds contain natural proteins, chocolate almond treats keep people full for longer, creating a sense of satiety.
Another benefit of chocolate and almonds chocolate pairings is the fact that they can be prepared in a wide variety of ways, ranging from simple chocolate covered almond clusters and gourmet popcorns to ice creams, parfaits, and granolas.
Because chocolate can also be folded into mousses, chocolate almond is a great flavor for anyone who is craving something sweet — but is worried about the calorie count of their next indulgence.
Other Best Chocolate Pairings
Obviously there are many other great chocolate pairings, and we’ll give them some love here as well:
- Chocolate and Peanut Butter
- Chocolate and Marshmallows
- Chocolate and Peanuts
- Chocolate and Cashews
- Chocolate and Fruit
- Chocolate and Cheese Pairing
If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind some of these chocolate pairings, let us know in the comments below!
Whether you are planning on hosting a chocolate tasting party or you are ready to put together a box of chocolates for someone special, make it memorable by ordering from Abdallah Candies and Gifts.
Our chocolate shop has been in business since 1909, and we’ve specialized in helping people to enjoy the sweetness life has to offer. With more than 200 varieties of chocolates including caramels, chocolate bars, mints, and assorted gift boxes, our chocolatiers make it easy to find the perfect treat for just about anyone.