Eating dinner the other night, my husband said, "Oh, these flavors go really well together." Well, of course they do, I thought. Do you think this is all just luck?
When I am planning a meal, I play a litle sensory tape in my head of the foods hitting my tongue in combination, and decide whether the flavors go together. I've become pretty good at it, over time. Assuming there isn't an untried food or recipe in the mix I can usually know what vegetable to serve with what main dish and so on. I'm trying to get experienced enough with wines that I can pick out a wine the same way. Sometimes I'm right on, other times not so much. But, oh! The fun learning!
In college I majored in Nutrition (it was called "Dietetics" where I went) for two years before making the brilliant choice to change to Sociology. Eek! (Note to all college students who really don't have a clue what they want to be when they grow up: start out with an undergraduate degree in Business, then do graduate study in whatever real major you want.) I did learn a thing or two about food. Most importantly I learned that I didn't want to spend the rest of my working life in a hospital dietary department. I didn't have a clue that there were a few more useful options for a degree in Nutrition even then, and much more so now that the food awareness explosion has taken place.