Are There Fundamental Laws of Cooking? | Wired.

They found that [the food pairing hypothesis] was true, at least when it came to Western cooking. North American and Western European cuisines, which share many of the same ingredients, both adhere to the food pairing hypothesis: Foods in the same recipe often have the same underlying molecular components. However, once we stray from these cuisines, the food pairing hypothesis breaks down. East Asian and Southern European recipes use ingredients that do not overlap in their flavor compounds, implying that these styles of cooking are in fact quantitatively distinct.