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Best Flavor Friends

When it comes to enticing, satisfying flavor, opposites really do attract. Think classic PB&J or salty nuts in a candy bar. Pairing contrasting taste sensations—like salty and sweet, creamy and tart, spicy and sour—is a great way to get the most flavor bang for your buck. 

These five unexpected ingredient combos sing in perfect harmony. Try them all and get inspired to create your own delicious duets. 

Prosciutto and Melon. This classic Italian pairing is the perfect example of opposites attracting.  
Why it works: The juiciness and sweetness of the melon contrasts with the salty, rich prosciutto for a refreshing and satisfying taste explosion. 
Try it in:  Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Strawberry and Avocado. Though both are technically fruit, tangy strawberries are a delicious contrast with mild, creamy avocado.  
Why it works: Sharp, naturally acidic berries cut through dense fat while rich avocado helps to tame the tartness for well-rounded flavor. 
Try it in: Avocado and strawberry salad

Parmesan and Honey. Sweet, floral honey and savory, nutty Parmesan are a match made in flavor heaven. 
Why it works: Earthy Parmesan is full of umami, the fifth taste, which hits a different part of the tongue than sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. Pairing it with the concentrated sugariness of honey creates an intense taste sensation.  
Try it in: Kale salad with cranberries, pepitas, and Parmesan

Fish Sauce and Brown Sugar. Pungent, earthy fish sauce and brown sugar are a delicious duo found throughout SE Asian cuisine. 
Why it works: Brown sugar brings a touch of sweetness, while fish sauce adds savory hits of sour and salty resulting in a brilliant combo of flavors. Try it in: Pad Thai Salad with Shrimp

Chipotle and Cranberry.  Fiery chipotle peppers (aka smoked jalapeno peppers) turn up the taste volume on Thanksgiving’s favorite fruit.
Why it works: Smoky, spicy chipotles counterbalance the sweetness of traditional cranberry sauce while underscoring the tartness for a surprising depth of flavor that hits every part of the tounge.  

Try it in: Smoky Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Greek Yogurt and Grilled Meat. Cool, refreshing yogurt dolloped on smoky grilled meat is an irresistible combination.  
Why it works: Tangy, creamy Greek yogurt pairs beautifully with the char of a backyard barbecue. Yogurt’s natural acidity stands up to the fatty richness of red meat while the cool creaminess provides textural contrast.  

Try it in:  Beef Kabobs with Yogurt Dip

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