Strawberries and cream, peanut butter and jam, bacon and eggs, chocolate and mint - excellent tasting combo's, am I right? Well, there is a science behind why these flavours pair so well together and it can be broken right down to a molecular level. Essentially, these foods that we love to taste together have molecular compounds in common.

Increasingly we notice chefs implementing the notion of molecular gastronomy in their cooking to achieve delicious results. Heston Blumenthal is a pioneer of this movement, and has gone on to discover amazing tasting, yet rather interesting combinations - caviar and white chocolate, anyone?

Today we're not taking it quite as far as Heston, but wanted to provide you with a handy guideline that you can put to use in your kitchen on a daily basis; to assist you in putting together a well balanced meal with epic flavour proportions. This table will prove especially handy for those of you with backyard herb gardens, I do hope we inspire some amazing creations with our ultimate guide to pairing flavours with herbs.

If you make use of our table this week or in the future, take a pic and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #THIflavourpairings, so we can check it out.


Complementary flavours

Complementary proteins

Recipe ideas


Raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, garlic, onion, artichokes, eggplant, mushrooms, olives, capers

Chicken, turkey, pork

Roast chicken, basil pesto, bruschetta, or pretty much any Italian or Greek dish.

Bay leaf

Pears, tomatoes, artichokes, nuts, lentils,
mushrooms, potatoes, thyme, parsley, sage

Beef, chicken, tuna

Slow cooked stocks, soups, bolognaise or creamy sauces, add to the liquid you poach seafood in. 


Asparagus, olives, mushrooms, horseradish,
paprika, basil, cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, tarragon

Nut & dairy cheese, eggs

Creamy sauces, soups, butters, dips.


Avocados, apples, apricot, berries, tomatoes, cherries, coconut, nectarine, peach, plum,
tropical fruit, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, clove, cumin, curry, dates, fennel seed, garlic, ginger, turmeric.

Beef, chicken, fish, pork

Nori or rice paper rolls, noodle soups, Asian dishes.


Cucumber, yoghurt, carrots, cinnamon, ginger,
pepper, mustard, clovesanise, basil, cabbage,
capers, caraway, carrots, chives, coriander,
cucumbers, cumin,  fennel, garlic, ginger,
horseradish, mint, mustard, oregano, onion,
paprika, parsley

Salmon, chicken

Pickles, stews, tzatziki.


Artichokes, basil, beans, cabbage, cheese,
cilantro, cinnamon, cucumber, cumin, dill,
eggplant, fenugreek, figs, garlic, lemon balm,
lentils, mint, olives, onion, oregano, parsley,
pork, thyme, tomatoes

White fish, chicken

Salads, coleslaws, soups, gratin.

Kaffir leaf

Banana, citrus, coconut, lemongrass,
tropical fruit, watermelon

Chicken, fish, tofu

Ice cream, granita, creamy tarts, refreshing drinks, cocktails, Asian style broths.


Cherry, berries, citrus, coconut, ginger,
guava, kaffir leaf, coconut, tropical fruit, vanilla


Chicken, white fish

Thai flavours, broths, soups


Chocolate, potatoes, peas, strawberries,
ginger, cayenne, lemon



Herbal tea, chocolate cake, smoothies, juices


Tomato, chilli, fennel, basil, cinnamon,
cumin, eggplant, fennel, garlic, marjoram, mushrooms, onion, parsley, thyme, tomatoes


Turkey, pork, beef

Pizza, roast beef, tomato sauces


Butter, potatoes, basil, bay leaf, chives, dill,  
garlic, marjoram, mushrooms, grains, onion, oregano,thyme, tomatoes


Fish, chicken, eggs

Hearty soups, baked potatoes


Mushrooms, cauliflower, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, garlic


Beef, turkey

Roast meats


Apple, lemon, apples, bay leaf,  capers,
caraway, celery, citrus, garlic, ginger, marjoram, onions, paprika, parsley, rosemary, thyme, tomatoes


Beef, veal, pork, turkey

Roast beef, garlic butter, potato dishes


Sumac,bananas, basil, bay leaf, beans, carrots, citrus, dill, garlic, mint, mushrooms, onion, oregano, parsley, sage


Turkey, pork, beef, fish, eggs

Roast beef, grilled fish

This table could well be limitless! With so many foods that could potentially be paired. So share with us in the comments below, what are your favourite ways to pair flavours with herbs? 

Sarah Elizabeth John

Made by Amy

be your truth