Ketchup and coffee, really?!

The Foodpairing impossible game continues! Ketchup and coffee, you would not name these two ingredients in one sentence, would you. Well, if you look at it from a molecular point of view, they actually share aromas. The Jiggers cocktail bar in Ghent prooves they match well in a cocktail.

Let’s have a look at the aromatic secret behind this flavour interaction. As you know, Foodpairing always starts from an aroma analysis of ingredients. (Read more about the science behind Foodpairing here). This allows us to look for aroma connections between ingredients, leading to pairings.

ketchup and coffee in a cocktail aroma flavour pairing

When we place the aroma wheel of ketchup next to the one of coffee, we see they have two distinctive aroma directions in common. There is a citrus smell to both of them, a bit similar to the smell of coriander seeds. Apart from this, both ingredients have a floral side, reminding of roses. Of course, this is hard to smell as a human being! We use scientific methods to distract aromas and calculate pairings.

Tomatoes are also rich in umami taste. Ketchup adds this pleasant savoury taste to coffee, reducing its bitterness.

Foodpairing Impossible challenge – Ketchup & Coffee Michelada

So it can be done! The Jiggers cocktail bar — Your noble drugstore — in Ghent prepared their own Ketchup & Coffee Michelada with a matching blood orange appetizer.

Ketchup – coffee – red cabbage – blood orange – dill

cocktail foodpairing flavour combinations pairing coffee and ketchup

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