Being a good cook is about more than just following recipes. Knowing what ingredients pair well together will help you avoid screwups in the kitchen and allow you to mix the dregs of your refrigerator into something remotely edible. That’s why we love this fun new infographic from designers David McCandless and Willow Tyrer (via Frites & Fries), which shows exactly what ingredients you should be using to complement your main vegetable or protein.
The duo used info compiled from 1,000 recipes on BBC Food and Epicurious to see what ingredients were regularly used in tandem. Then they charted them up in Taste Buds, this helpful infographic viewable on their website and available for sale as a high-res download at their online store. All in all, the chart is pretty useful, especially if you’re new to the cooking game. Useful tip: Bacon goes with just about everything.
It’s nice to see resources like this, along with sites like Gojee, that encourage a more complete view of how flavors and ingredients work together, instead of just providing step-by-step instructions on how to make a dish. Not that we should stop using standard cookbooks; they’re extremely useful in drilling good habits and proper technique into our heads. But once you are ready to start getting more creative, it’s good to know what exactly goes well with that pork loin you just bought from the Meat Hook.