Why do food pairings like pork and vanilla or beef and chocolate work? The answer lies within flavor perception and biochemical networks.
Food is made up of chemical compounds, and sometimes, two foods that you might think of as very different have similar compounds. If the two foods are cooked in a fashion that keeps those compounds the same, or if two foods are cooked in such a way that their compounds become more similar, they’ll create a flavor profile that our minds perceive as being delicious!
You can learn more about the ways in which unusual food pairings can work in this article at kitchn.