Dark chocolate, coffee and MACKEREL have been scientifically proven as potential perfect flavour pairings – for lamb.
The research looked at the molecular make-up of lamb 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 included shrimp, whiskey and even brie cheese, with peanuts, potatoes and grapefruit also providing unusual – yet scientifically perfect – pairings.
Food scientist and flavour expert Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart collaborated with Simply Beef & Lamb to release the unusual findings.
Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart said: "Whilst many of these ingredients are commonly used in cooking, they are not generally associated with lamb.
"However, lamb itself is a strong bold flavour that could probably stand up well to these other strong flavours.
“This research shows that these new ingredients are scientifically more similar in terms of flavour to the traditional pairings of rosemary or mint, and people can afford to be a bit bolder when pairing ingredients with lamb.”
Dark chocolate and coffee, both strong bold bitter flavours, share a number of notes with cooked lamb, with dark chocolate having the greatest similarity.
And both whiskey and sake were revealed as alcoholic beverages sharing the largest number of aromas with roasted lamb, in place of the more traditional glass of red wine.
Specifically, sake and lamb both contain an aroma described as having cocoa and almond notes, two flavours not typically highlighted when tasting lamb.
In light of the research findings, Simply Beef & Lamb has shared new recipes for Love Lamb Week from September 1-7.
They include Lamb and Coffee Stew and Lamb Leg Steak with Garlic Potatoes and Grapefruit Salad with more recipes available at SimplyBeefandLamb.com.
Foods that are new potential pairings for lamb:
• Dark chocolate• Coffee• Honey• Sake• Mackerel• Beef• Pumpkin seed• Grapefruit• Cabbage• Shrimp