There are some truly irresistible combinations, pairs that are stronger than the sum of their parts. These pair are replicated both in actually life amongst people, communities, and organizations. But, more relevant to this blog and as such a little bit less serious, perfect partnerships happen frequently in food. And if you live in the lovely, slightly deluded world where food remains supreme, where the perfect combination of textures in ice cream is really the pinnacle of happiness, perfect partnerships, evolved taste pairs, and unexpected combinations are plentiful.
While killing time in an airport, I picked up a copy of this month’s Atlantic. This month, the Woman’s Dilemma was on the cover, and two-thirds of the way through the magazine in no less than 12 pages of text. This Atlantic, carried the woes of upper-middle class, intellectual white women folded in amongst pages of other worldly happenings, sandwiched between insider trading and Canadian tolerance. This opus to the single woman’s status is neither disheartening or uplifting, tired or particularly innovative. What it is, however, is a practical look at modern day coupling. Surprise, the relationship is evolving alongside society into to something new, and equally exciting if you choose to take the optimistic outlook. In parallel to food, where combinations are continuously revisited, revamped, and repaired, evolving relationships is nothing new.
Goat Cheese Brownies, for example, are something that have been done before and yet they remain unusual. My roommates, my friends, they all approached the tray of deep, chocolaty brown fudgey brownies with apprehension. “Goat cheese? In brownies?…”
And that’s the only correct response. With unexpected pairings, particularly in food, the only thing to do is to present the most visually appealing selection possible, state a couple times that, yes, there is tangy, creamy, savory goat cheese in the brownies and just wait. Give the surprising a try, chances are that you’ll like it.
Wait for that first, complex, confusing bite where the play of the earthy, slightly sour goat cheese resonates in perfect harmony with the sweet, endlessly rich bittersweet chocolate brownie. Unexpected and perfect. The Goat Cheese Brownie, although odd, is greater than either two components separately. But that’s not to say goat cheese and a brownie are individually inferior. It’s just a different sort of taste, for a different sort of time and place.
Recipe on the following page.