carmendrahl writes "Why do foods taste good together? Scientists aren't anywhere near figuring it out, but that hasn't stopped one popular idea from spawning a company dedicated to discovering avant-garde new pairings. The idea, called flavor-pairing theory, says that if foods share a key odor molecule, they'll pair well. But some scientists say the idea can't explain all cuisines, and another contends his work with tomato flavor (abstract) shows that flavor pairing is 'a gimmick by a chef who is practicing biology without a license.'"
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