Dark chocolate better seasoning for lamb dishes than mint, claims study

Traditional toppings trumped by whiskey and mackerel as flavour matches

Monday 02 September 2019 18:39 BST
Dark chocolate, coffee and mackerel beat mint as a seasoning for Lamb in a study
Dark chocolate, coffee and mackerel beat mint as a seasoning for Lamb in a study (Getty Images)

Dark chocolate, coffee and mackerel are the best seasonings for a lamb dish, a study has claimed.

The research looked at the molecular make-up of the meat in order to discover foods that share similar flavour compounds. These could pair well when eaten within lamb recipes, enhancing the flavours of each.

Other compatible tastes were found to be shrimp, whiskey and even brie cheese, with peanuts, potatoes and grapefruit.

Dark chocolate and coffee, both strong but bitter flavours, share a number of notes with cooked lamb, with dark chocolate having the greatest similarity.

Whiskey and sake were found to be the alcoholic drinks sharing the most in common with roasted lamb, beating the more traditional glass of red wine.

The study found both beverages contain an aroma described as having cocoa and almond notes, two flavours not typically highlighted when tasting lamb.

Food scientist and flavour expert Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart, who collaborated with Simply Beef & Lamb, said the results show traditional seasoning ingredients may not always be the best matched.

“While many of these ingredients are common in cooking, people can often be afraid to put bold flavours together," he said.

"This research shows that the traditional pairings of rosemary or mint may not be the best food to bring out all of the flavours lamb has to offer.

"People can therefore afford to be a bit bolder in their choices.”


Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in