Classic product combinations

Today I propose to take a step back from the cumbersome recipes and recall the classic win-win food combinations, based on which you yourself can create as many recipes as you want. I will deliberately not write about sauces, everyone already knows that, for example, asparagus and hollandaise sauce are best friends, but a dissertation is not enough to fully disclose this topic.

Likewise, I am not mentioning olive oil – and it is clear that it goes with absolutely everything. We do not touch the salt either. How do you use these combinations? First, for its intended purpose – by combining these products in dishes, you can be sure that the result will come out worthy. Secondly, as a starting point for further reflections – for example, in a combination of blue cheese with pears, it is enough to replace the latter with figs, and it will sparkle with new colors. I deliberately omitted some of the classic combinations lying on the surface – I wonder how you will supplement this list.

Tomatoes + garlic + basil – balancing the taste of three products seems to be more difficult than two, but nature succeeded perfectly. A wonderful summer combination for salads and cold appetizers and a winter combination for warming soup.

Beetroot + goat cheese + nuts – another “trinity”, as if created by a friend for a friend. Salads, appetizers, casseroles, side dishes – this combination will work everywhere.Cheese + honey, and absolutely any cheese, but in particular – hard varieties of matured cheese. You can just dunk and eat, or you can come up with something more elaborate. Pine nuts are a nice but optional addition, which, however, will always come in handy.


Potatoes + nutmeg: the taste of nutmeg in potato dishes may not be noticed, but it is impossible to disagree with the fact that it ennobles the taste of potatoes and makes it more intense. This bunch will show itself in any potato dish, and first of all, in ordinary mashed potatoes.

Potatoes + dill – a combination that is close and familiar to everyone. There is such an abyss between just boiled potatoes and boiled potatoes with dill that it is impossible to believe that this simple herb was the creator of the miracle. And when it comes to young potatoes …

Meat + anise – the secret combination of Heston Blumenthal, which is used in all meat dishes served at The Fat … The taste of anise can hardly be distinguished, but it will make the taste of the meat itself brighter and deeper. Try it!

Apples + cinnamon – a classic that works equally well both in apple desserts and in any appetizers and main dishes (not to mention sauces), where apples are involved.

Bacon + eggs… It’s no surprise that scrambled eggs and bacon are better than scrambled eggs without bacon. The trick is that any egg dishes benefit from being next to bacon, even those where neither one nor the other is the epicenter of taste.

Pears + blue cheese – an example of a successful combination of sweet and salty, but not only: the spicy, fragrant sweetness of a juicy pear and the complex, salty, with barely noticeable bitterness taste of blue cheese seem to be made for each other. It can be used both in salads and in other dishes, including hot ones.

Lamb + mint – just one of the few successful couples with lamb, as it rhymes well with rosemary, thyme, garlic, pepper and much more. But mint, both in the marinade stage and as a sauce, can definitely turn regular lamb into fine, beautiful into delicious, and delicious into divine.

Pork + fennel seeds – the case when the seasoning is no less important than the main component. No, pork, of course, is good without fennel, but with fennel it transforms. Just season the pork, in addition to salt and pepper, with lightly crushed fennel seeds, and then cook according to your favorite recipe.

Duck + oranges… Moreover, oranges in any form – zest as a seasoning, orange slices in a salad with duck, orange sauce for breasts, and so on. Why it works is unclear, but it works.

Game + juniper berries in combination, they enhance the spirit of “wildness” and “primitiveness” of the dish at times. By the way, this is just that rare case when the opposite is also true: if you want to add “forests” to, say, mutton, add juniper.


Fish + fennel, and this time not seeds, but greens. Separately, I have not seen fennel greens on sale, and therefore, when buying fennel, I choose the most curly one. Fennel greens have a more delicate, delicate, aniseed flavor than dill, so they are definitely a better pair.

Melon + ham – by the way, a ready-made salad recipe that seems to exist wherever ham is made and melons are planted. Other berries and fruits combined with jerky ham are also good, but melon in particular. Popular site ADME made an infographic based on this post, which I post here for clarity:

And now – the combinations that the readers suggested:
  • Cheese + mustard
  • Fish + lemon
  • Fish + horseradish
  • Mushrooms + basil
  • Mushrooms + marjoram
  • Eggplant + basil
  • Eggs + kinza + cheese
  • Hercules + cheese
  • Eggplant + garlic
  • Beans + bacon
  • Cauliflower + cheese
  • Rhubarb + raisins
  • Potatoes + bay leaf + onion
  • Olives + anchovies
  • Cheese + grapes
  • Lamb + quince
  • Lard + garlic
  • Millet + pumpkin
  • Sponge cake + cream
  • Pineapple + ham
  • Beets + prunes
  • Walnuts + cover + honey
  • Chicken + nuts
  • Pomegranate + lamb
  • Beef (minced) + basil
  • Lamb + rosemary
  • Pumpkin + cinnamon
  • Pumpkin + nutmeg
  • Soy sauce + honey
  • Pork + cloves
  • Rice + raisins
  • Pumpkin + garlic + parsley
  • Asparagus + eggs
  • Celery + apple
  • Onion + vinegar
  • Strawberry + cream
  • Beans + chili
  • Beans + nuts
  • Liver + apples
  • Chocolate + nuts
  • Herring + apples
  • Beef + eggplant
  • Eggs + soy sauce
  • Eggs + tomatoes
  • Soy sauce + honey + orange peel
  • Garlic + cilantro + hot pepper
  • Feta cheese + dried oregano
  • Cabbage + cumin
  • Crayfish + dill seeds

Anything to add? Write in the comments!

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