On the menu for your next dinner party: roasted cauliflower with chocolate, along with those strawberries with cream.
The Daily Mail reports that U.S. food scientists analyzed popular food pairings, finding that many popular food combinations share the same flavor compounds. This explains cocktails with berries and citrus, strawberries with cream, and coffee with mostly anything (coffee shares flavor compounds with many foods, the study reports).
According to science, then, chocolate could also be paired in savory dishes, including roasted cauliflower. Stilton could be combined with rhubarb, vegetables could be enhanced with violet extract, and seaweed and honey would be perfect complements.
Funnily enough, past research has shown that Western dishes tend to combine food with similar flavor compounds, but East Asian cuisines tend to avoid similar flavor compounds, instead pairing opposite flavor profiles. Furthermore, some ingredients like mushrooms, fish, and nuts have few common flavor profiles, meaning we'll just have to get a little more creative with those.