Guru Podcast Episode 3: Food pairing. Yes, they do taste good together…

Podcasts never tasted so good!

This episode is a culinary adventure as Jon, Ross and Stu sample some very weird food combinations – all in the name of testing out the science of ‘food pairing’. It’s hilarious and could just change the way you cook forever. Also on the menu, Animal Guru, Artem Cheprasov, considers how to get a decent education without a lifetime of debt. Our surveys say that this week’s episode is better than chocolate.

The Science of Food Pairing

Food faceWhat’s your favourite meal? Pepperoni Pizza? Steak and chips? A turkey roast? We all know that certain foods go together well: tomato, cheese and basil; red meat and red wine, for example. For a long time chefs have tried mixing different ingredients together in search of new flavour sensations. Now there’s some science to explain why bacon and maple syrup taste so good.

Researcher Yong-Yeol Ahn and colleagues catalogue the flavour compounds in many different foods. The foods that shared lots of flavour compounds seem to taste great when eaten together (e.g. scallops and pancetta). This research revealed some unexpected potential food combinations – Oyster and passion fruit, or coffee and garlic, anyone?

The editorial team decide to try some of these unusual combinations: beetroot and fried bacon, ginger and yellow pepper and a combination of things that you never thought would go with tomato ketchup…

The Guru Podcast is released bi-weekly on Mondays.
Subscribe via iTunes to never miss one.


“Flavor Network and the Principles of Food Pairing,” by Yong-Yeol Ahn, Sebastian E. Ahnert, James P. Bagrow and Albert-László Barabási, in Scientific Reports, Vol. 1, Article No. 196; December 15, 2011.

Food pairing websites:


–       Interactive ‘flavour connection’ food chart

Artem Cheprasov’s section:

–       List of Moocs at


Article by Stuart Farrimond

December 9, 2013

Doctor Stu is editor of Guru Magazine. He originally trained as a medical doctor before deciding to branch out into lecturing, writing, editing and science communication. He drinks far too much coffee, eats lots of ice cream and has a bizarre love of keeping fit.
You can check out Doctor Stu’s blog at or his poncy personal website Here's his .

Back To Top

Leave Your Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *