There are some blends of flavors that are traditional in a particular area or country. These define much of the cuisine in the region and many have become classic flavoring combinations in international cuisines.
If it is apples and cream - no matter the shape the apples take, if it is apple, apple cider or apple brandy – we are talking about French cuisine from Normandy.
If it is shallot, garlic and parsley it is also French cuisine, but French cuisine from Burgundy.
If you find caraway, onion and vinegar together, it will be probably a German recipe.
A dish flavored with sour cream, paprika and caraway is likely to have come from Hungary.
If your food is flavored with sour cream or mustard, and dill, it tastes Scandinavian.
You will find cinnamon, honey and nuts together in most Mediterranean countries, especially the Middle East and North African coast.
Basil a Mediterranean herb that shines particularly
in Italian cuisine.
There is no doubt that olive oil, tomato and basil flavored dish is Italian. Also that one flavored with olive oil, garlic, and anchovy cannot come from anywhere else than Italy.
If you find lemon and oregano in the same recipe, be aware that would be traditional Greek cuisine.
The combination of olive oil, garlic and parsley has a 60% chance to be Spanish. If we talk about olive oil, onion, garlic and tomato, the probability of Spanish dish increases to 80%, while for olive oil, onion, garlic and paprika the chances grow to 98%. If you add saffron to any of the previous combinations, there is no doubt about its origins, 100% Spanish.
India is the other country where you will find saffron, but usually the combination will have saffron and cardamom or ginger together. The marriage of onion, garlic and ginger also happens in Indian cuisine.
Chinese cuisine offers a similar flavor, but more delicate, the combination will be ginger, garlic and scallion. Scallions are like young onions and have a much milder in flavor than the whole, ripe onion bulb.
From Japan comes the combination of soy sauce, mirin or sake, and dried bonito. The blend of ginger and soy sauce is also typically Japanese.
If you find fish sauce, lemon grass and chili in one dish, it surely will be from Thailand.
Your own flavor combinations
All the previous combination are classic flavors from their land, but they are not they only ones used in the regions where they come from. Nor they are the only ones to use. Hopefully these mixtures of flavors have stimulated your imagination as much as your taste buds and you are ready to build new blends that are uniquely you.