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Write It 2017: 11-14s: Highly Commended: The Perfect Food Partnership

Write It 2017: 11-14s: Highly Commended: The Perfect Food Partnership Charlotte Slater (19/06/2017)

I love food. What I love even more is when some bright spark takes one food and introduces it to another. Twice the food, twice the flavour! Yes, ice cream tastes great by itself, but put it on a blind date with a bar of chocolate and you'll soon find out they're better together.

However, it takes more than blind luck to make a good, let alone perfect, food partnership.

You see, foods can often be a little like people. Partners need to be able to work well together; they can't be fighting constantly. Any good chef knows flavours shouldn't be at war with each other – as does any good matchmaker.

They need to support each other, recognise their individual strengths, and help where the other may need it – for instance, you (probably) wouldn't drink plain cream – too sweet! – but pour it over some strawberries and you've got an antidote, tart and mellow dancing together on your tastebuds.

Though, there does need to be a little friction and contrast between the two.

Comfortingly creamy custard couldn't be more different to bitingly sharp rhubarb, but together they make a strong pairing. Sometimes, all it takes is a little crunch to highlight silkiness, a little cold to bring out the warmth, or a puckering zing of citrus to temper the sweet. Each partner has what the other needs – after all, opposites attract.

It's easy to make a pairing – it only takes two – but the perfect pairing? That's harder. You'll need an innovative vision, or a whole lot of luck. My mum's roast chicken is one of my favourite foods on Earth, but the day I poured on some of my dad's sweet chilli sauce was a turning point. It was an assault on the senses, spicy and sweet and buttery all at the same time. Like an orchestra, the layers somehow came together, finding an unlikely sense of harmony amidst the chaos. It worked.

It's hard to define perfection, especially relating to food. All I can say is, you'll know it when you taste it. I think it's something you have to discover for yourself your own perfect.

You see, some foods (and some people) are meant for each other, and it just takes a leap of faith to find them. Everyone likes flying solo sometimes, but nothing beats the bond between two partners who have each other's back. We all make pairings for a reason and personally, I think that foods, like people, are better together. 


Author: Charlotte Slater Email:

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