Fruity February – Create amazing flavour combinations to banish boring fruit!

With love in the air in February we thought it would be a great time to look at some flavour ‘pairings’ to keep your fruit interesting.

Fruit doesn’t have to be a boring banana or apple – by simply combining a couple of flavours it can turn something mundane into a taste sensation.

Apple – Apples come in many varieties with a range of flavours from sweet to sour, which is why they can pair with such a range of other flavours: Pear, Walnut, Bacon, Beetroot and Blueberries to name a few. If you fancy a change up for lunch try an Apple, Walnut and Blue Cheese baby leaf salad (this has to be one of my favourite salads). The fresh sweetness of the apple and the creamy blue cheese with a drizzle of balsamic dressing… quick simple and super tasty!

Orange – I don’t think you can beat the smell of a freshly peeled orange: the citrus smell wakens the senses with a wave of energy. Orange flavour lends itself to pairing well with a wide range of flavours; keeping it in the citrus family, it pairs well with lemon (more commonly it is the two peels used together to balance sweetness in puddings and cakes).
Orange also pairs well with the likes of mango, melon, carrots and pineapple. A small amount of pineapple is sometimes added to freshly squeezed orange juice to enhance the natural flavour, as they both have naturally similar flavour palette.

Banana – Oh the humble banana, it is quite a flavour changer; as the skin colours, the flavour of the flesh changes and therefore different ripeness of bananas go with different flavours. This is also why you will find that people like their bananas at different ripeness to eat as the flavour changes. I personally like a nice yellow banana when it is still firm.
Banana lends itself well to roasted and heavily spiced flavours along with Cherry, Coconut, Pineapple and Peanut. I love the combination of banana, coconut and pineapple, it makes a delicious and filling smoothie, a great way to start your day!

Raspberry – Have a lovely sweet and sour flavouring with the seeds bringing a slight woody taste. Raspberries pair well with fruits with similar sweet and sour properties like pineapple, apricots and blackberries. They also pair well with herbal flavours such as mint and basil. Raspberries also carry an undertone of dairy which is why they also pair well with cream, yogurt and soft cheeses.
If your looking for a way to pep up your flavours in the summer why not try some fresh raspberries and pineapples and a little fresh chopped basil sprinkled over the top, refreshing!

Strawberry – A great British favourite not only in summer but all year round and actually the worlds favourite berry! Strawberry pairs well with a number of flavours such as cucumber, grape, coconut, hazelnut and melon to name a few.
But did you know that tomatoes and strawberries actually carry very similar flavour propriety, so much so that they can actually substitute each other in many situations? This is due to the tomato containing something called strawberry furanone, found in especially high levels in homegrown tomatoes in high summer. Apparently avocado, mozzarella and strawberry salad is a big flavour hit; I might give this a go in summer…watch this space!

Mint – I thought I would pop mint in here at the end as it is such a quick and easy way to add a bit of pizazz to many fresh fruits such as lemon, lime, mango, melon (especially watermelon), raspberries, strawberries, and oranges – really the list could go on. My top tip for mint would be finely chopping some fresh mint and sprinkling it over any mixed fruit salad – Yummy!