Clever Flavor Combinations

This past week I was fortunate enough to experience two inventive foods - each from two of my favorite Richmond food establishments.

First off was the pork/pistachio/truffle sausage from the Belmont Butchery. When Tanya suggested this initially I decided to try a link mostly out of curiosity, but I was completely taken aback by how well the components blended, particularly the pistachio and the pork. The black truffle shavings were so spare as to have only a small influence over the complete flavor, but they certainly rounded out the whole thing.

The second was this evening at DeLuca Gelato. While Valerie was deciding which flavors of sorbetto to combine, the proprietor offered me a taste of a new flavor: Balsamico Estasi - Balsamic Ecstasy. Here were raspberries steeped in quality aged balsamic vinegar mixed into a rich base of gelato with shavings of chocolate. Now chocolate and raspberries are a no brainer pairing if you already like both, but the balsamic provided a subtle fruity complexity and tanginess.

Richmond may not have a larger city's profusion of top-notch food outlets, but we sure do have our share of inventive places to chow. This week's surprises confirm that, and reinforce my love of eating here.