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The role of aromatic similarity in food and beverage pairing

Abstract : Aromatic similarity is often mentioned by culinary experts and Sommeliers as a basic principle for matching food and beverages. The aim of this study was to investigate how this pairing principle modulates consumers’ judgment of pairings. Two kinds of beverage-food pairing were considered: syrup based lemon soft drink paired with aromatized dairy product (experiment 1) and beer flavoured with either lemon or smoky aroma paired with savoury verrines (experiment 2). In each experiment the flavoured drinks were associated with food flavoured with either the same aroma or another one, leading to two contrasting levels of aromatic similarity. We hypothesized that aromatic similarity would increase the liking of the pairing by increasing perceived harmony and homogeneity and decreasing complexity. Pairings were assessed by a group of about 50 participants in a within experimental design. Experiment 1 confirmed our hypotheses. The pair that shared an aroma was preferred over the pair with different aromas. Aromatic similarity also increased the pairing’s perceived harmony and homogeneity and decreased the pairing’s complexity. Experiment 2 also supported our hypothesis but to a lesser extent. For lemon beer pairings, aromatic similarity induced an increase in harmony and homogeneity but did not affect complexity. In contrast, for smoky beer pairings, aromatic similarity did not affect harmony or homogeneity but induced a decrease in complexity. Moreover no effect or only a marginal effect was observed on liking. We suggest a model that could account for these results in which aromatic similarity would impact liking of the pair by modulating collative properties, specifically harmony and complexity, of the food-beverage pairing.
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Anastasia Eschevins, Agnès Giboreau, Thomas Allard, Catherine Dacremont. The role of aromatic similarity in food and beverage pairing. Food Quality and Preference, Elsevier, 2018, 65, pp.18-27. ⟨10.1016/j.foodqual.2017.12.005⟩. ⟨hal-02622683⟩



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