I truly love the fact that I have a pretty crazy imagination. In fact, I think that may be an attractive trait that I possess – at times. There are definitely instances that such an attribute proves to elicit an eye-rolling and hackneyed apathy to those close to me, but for the most part, it creates exciting conversation and experience.
I have quite an imagination, I believe, when it comes to flavor combination. Having grown up in the food industry, this “foodie” sense is ingrained in me. I have no formal culinary training and I have no way to teach the way I dream up combinations of flavor, texture, color, and sensory properties of food. (By the way, I just googled “mouthfeel synonyms to impress readers with a super duper fancy way of communicating my point and came across the greatest document: “A Mouth-Feel Wheel” for wine. I adore the creativity of words).
I just know food. And, I dream about it – in complex and strange ways.
Last week I was rather randomly inspired by the flavor combination of fennel and cinnamon. This marriage of flavors was actually in the form of a herbal honey lozenge.
The idea of the two flavors together is certainly not anything new, as I have a tendency to add risky amounts of ground cinnamon to my tomato based sauces, coupled with Italian sausage, more often than not, containing bits of fennel.
This marriage that Wedderspoon was advertising, though, led to me determining that more guests might be a positive addition to this party. I created a friendship of flavors, if you will.
Cinnamon, fennel, fresh ground peppercorns, Himalayan sea salt (of course), with the addition of freshly ground cloves. And…fresh basil. To me, the aroma of fresh basil is absolutely, without a doubt, intoxicating.
The party began – a perfect mixture of all these elements – cloves and basil were a wonderful addition and were happy to be invited to the friendship, as were heirloom tomatoes. (Certainly not local, but a treasure this time of year, nonetheless). Just a touch of balsamic vinegar turned this into a frienaissance.