The 10 best food partnerships ever
A true partnership is one that takes, as building blocks, the constituent parts and constructs a product, greater by far than those parts alone. Food partnerships can be hit and miss, the more chefs experiment, the more amplified those disasters and successes can become. So, I say, stick to the classic ten partnerships, those that turn two semi precious ingredients into one 24 karat, diamond encrusted food experience.
Mayonnaise & tomato ketchup
Separately these titans of the condiment world rule the sauce empire, but together they possess the full power of The Dark Side. Mowing down prawns and leaving shredded seafood extender in their wake.
Ice cream & cake
You either get the whole ‘cake with ice cream’ or you don’t. If you do – congratulations, you are about to experience what a dessert, living up to it’s full potential, can achieve. If you don’t? I pity you, I really do.
Milk & tea
How can adding such a small amount of one liquid, to another, change the resulting drink so much? It’s like alchemy in a cup! There is nothing you’d want to put in your brew more, is there?
Beer & salt & vinegar crisps
Nothing beats asking a real ale fan, ‘why do you drink beer?’ They can go for hours – like a strange perpetual motion machine, they can produce fact after fact about the minutia of this amber liquid. But at no point will they mention the real beauty of beer – the way it goes so well with crisps! That’s why they sell them in pubs! Whilst all forms of this fatty snack act as a stunning counterpoint to this beverage, it is the mighty salt & vinegar that comes out on top.
Pasta & Parmesan
In the words of Max from Hart to Hart ‘When one of the blandest foods met the magic of umami – it was murder!’ Not really murder, more a perfect compliment of flavour and flavour carrier, but who doesn’t have a soft spot for Max?
Bread and butter
A fresh loaf, butter just soft enough to spread, sun beating through the window, the cricket on the radio, the papers still to be unfolded and read – So perfect, I think I’m going to cry!
Chocolate & biscuit
Biscuits are great. That is an indisputable fact. Whilst they come in myriad shape, styles and flavours, only when they have a chocolate element do they really become unstoppably moreish. Whilst one can happily do a few rich teas, and a few more custard creams, even a large quantity of Jammie Dodgers – it’s the Jaffa Cakes and chocolate Hob Nobs of the biscuit domain, that demand whole packet-eating respect.
Shortcrust pastry and jam
Think of a jam tart. Good. Now try to think of something, with a pastry element, that is superior? Do the same with jam. Exactly.
Squid & batter
I’ve never hidden my love of this amazing cephalopod, nor my belief that very little isn’t made tastier through deep-frying. Gladly the science in this backs me up. Squid benefits from either very slow cooking or, as in the case of hot fat, very quick cooking, thus your outside is a delicious shade of crunchy brown, whilst the marshmallow-type interior offer no resistance.
Chickpeas & tahini
As separate elements they have a hint of vegan worthiness about them, together they become the dip of choice for the chattering classes.