Pumpkin volatiles

Because it’s seasonal… Food pairing with pumpkins!

The major classes of compound that flavour fresh pumpkins are aliphatic alcohols and carbonyls, furan derivatives and sulfur-containing compounds.

Major constituents (and foods that will match them) are:

  • (Z)-3-hexenol – broccoli, sweet peppers
  • (E)-2-hexenal – ripe tomatoes, habanero peppers (!)
  • 2-3-butanedione (diacetyl) – butter, some beers, chardonnay, sweet potato
  • 3-(methylthio)propanal – potato, red wine (especially cabernets)
  • methylformylthiophene – seemingly this compound is characteristic of pumpkin!
  • dimethyl sulphide – some butters, corn, cabbage, beetroot, seafoods
  • furfural – corn, oat and wheat bran

…Which explains why last year’s pumpkin lasagne with broccoli and salmon was so good!


About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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