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Unusual Food Combinations
February 28, 2012 9:34 PM   Subscribe

Top 10 Unusual (yet tasty) Food Combinations. And after trying those, savor 10 Desserts with Unexpected Ingredients. Or check out the ask.
posted by storybored (140 comments total) 77 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those weren't all that odd. I'll play though: Peanut butter, tomato and mayonaise sandwich. Yum.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 9:45 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: Strawberries tossed with a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar and a little sugar, then chill in fridge for an hour. Tastes like childhood.
posted by mochapickle at 9:45 PM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


When I was young, we used to drink cheap tequila mixed with root beer.

We called it "Root Boozle".

It was surprisingly good.
posted by not_on_display at 9:46 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Non-slideshow, no ad desserts
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:47 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Creamy French dressing on taco salad. Dunno why, it's delicious!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:50 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not two hours ago I ate blue cheese cheesecake and it was amazing.
posted by escabeche at 9:51 PM on February 28, 2012


Sauternes and potato chips
posted by aquafortis at 9:51 PM on February 28, 2012


Any fruit with sour cream
posted by holdkris99 at 9:51 PM on February 28, 2012


Also, I like a savory bagel with a sweet-flavored cream cheese, and vice versa.
posted by escabeche at 9:51 PM on February 28, 2012


Wanting to join such a list, I performed many experiments combining crabmeat with blueberries. I can report that there seems to be nothing of value in that direction. A negative result is still a result, so I offer that knowledge here.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:53 PM on February 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


That list was weak. Not even bacon and caramel or pear and Gorgonzola made the list... But chocolate and coffee? Whoa, blowin' my mind.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:53 PM on February 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


In order to spice up our crummy frozen pizzas, as a kid we'd also have some boiled frozen loose corn, which we would then slather in mayonnaise and spread on the frozen pizza itself.

Don't knock it till you try it.
posted by pmv at 9:53 PM on February 28, 2012


Vinegar and sugar on bacon. Trust me.
posted by unSane at 9:58 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, salt in coffee is something I can't wait to try. My heart is trepidating.
posted by unSane at 9:58 PM on February 28, 2012


I put salt on my ice cream; it's sooooo much better that way.
posted by lalex at 10:01 PM on February 28, 2012


Wanting to join such a list, I performed many experiments combining crabmeat with blueberries.

One summer, when I was living in Maine, I worked part-time for a family friend. Me and a crew of a half-dozen or so people raked the wild blueberry bushes on this friend's land, and she turned the blueberries into the most fantastically delicious blueberry chutney. Which is delicious with lobster. It would be delicious with shoes, I imagine
posted by rtha at 10:03 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


My burning man camp has a whole wiki full of this stuff! We even had a "snack-off" where people would try to figure out what weird combinations of things we put in their mouths. The winner attributed his success to his "extremely large mouth".


A sampling from the tested & good category:

Banana & Habanero Salsa
Fresh watermelon sprinkled with citric acid
Peanut butter & pop rocks
Cheez-It Snack Crackers & Country Time Lemonade Mix


From the tested & bad category:

Pop rocks & ranch dressing
Peanut butter & rum sandwich. (This was extremely foul.)
posted by aubilenon at 10:04 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. I don't think those combinations are unusual at all.
posted by Specklet at 10:05 PM on February 28, 2012


I can attest that 3 Musketeer bars slathered in buffalo wing dip are AWESOME
posted by Lucinda at 10:06 PM on February 28, 2012


Scotch and a Dark Stout (sip one, then the other)
posted by mrzarquon at 10:06 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


salt in coffee… My heart is trepidating

Trying it right now and it's a hit. Really good addition that brings the flavour up.

In Oslo, they hit us up with cayenne pepper on a cappuccino. Mind-blowing and addictive.

Also, using a dash of maple syrup instead of sugar. Ridic.

Couple other foodie combinations seen recently:

• Arrabiata sauce over pasta with cocoa nibs sprinkled on
• Watermelon and feta cheese
posted by nickrussell at 10:07 PM on February 28, 2012


Steak with Thousand Island Dressing is like crack for me.
posted by astapasta24 at 10:08 PM on February 28, 2012


10 Desserts with Unexpected Ingredients

No way I am clicking on that, and thanks for the nightmare.

This is one of those comments better than the link posts?

Here's my simple starter app. I call it "The Fundamental"

1 Apple (A) slice
1 Lightly cooked piece of Broccoli (B)
1 Slice cheddar Cheese (C)
on bread

I guess that's not that unusual ...

Cool Ranch Doritos + Marshmallow Fluff + Banana + Chocolate?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:09 PM on February 28, 2012


salt and/or sugar (or really pepper, or really any spice) + anything kinda seems like a no-brainer

somehow some people in Texas put salt on their watermelon. ew.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:11 PM on February 28, 2012


10. Carrots and Sugar

Not unusual for the hundreds of millions who eat it every winter. Any lovers of gajar-ka-halwa around here?
posted by vidur at 10:11 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


the NYT had a food column once that advocated lemon juice on cold pizza. I actually tried it. It's really good, please do try it.

Peanut-butter & lettuce sandwiches are also really good, trust me here.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 10:11 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


... and as a kid I'd eat potato-chip sandwiches - bread, a slice of cheese, and regular-flavor potato chips. Don't know how I came up with that one, but it was tasty.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 10:13 PM on February 28, 2012


Gold leaf on caviar. So amazing.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:15 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Chocolate and coffee? Really? Have these people not heard of mocha?

Tomatoes and sugar is a bit more surprising, but I've always known this one; my mother always put a bit of sugar in the tomato sauce.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:17 PM on February 28, 2012


Yeah, most of these don't seem that unusual to me, either. Glazed carrots are a winter staple throughout much of the American south.

Here's mine (though it's hardly original, most folks I run into don't seem to have tried it):

Drizzle the best local honey you can find over the finest parmigiano reggiano you can find.
posted by trip and a half at 10:18 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


My standing rule is that whenever you see some odd combination of foods on a menu, you should order that thing, because its continued existence on the menu speaks to its goodness. Anyplace can sell a cheeseburger regardless of quality.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:18 PM on February 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


potato-chip sandwiches

My mom used to make a sandwich she called a Munchie Crunchie: deviled ham and Ruffles potato chips. Had to be Ruffles so there was still some crunch left come lunchtime at elementary school.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:19 PM on February 28, 2012


Also, chocolate and roasted garlic.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:22 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Scrambled eggs topped with a generous helping of grated sharp cheddar cheese, wait until slightly melted, then drizzle with honey. Eat with buttered toast.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 10:25 PM on February 28, 2012


Scotch and a Dark Stout (sip one, then the other)

In a pinch, where you want to drink, but all you have is room temperature knock-off Irish Cream, a sip of that, then a sip of cold grape soda is pretty amazing. Don't mix the two, you'll get a purple cement mixer.

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but when eating a rice crispy treat, put some salt on a plate, dip the treat in the salt, bite the salted part, repeat. It's heavenly.

As for the chip sandwiches, as a kid, I'd skip the cheese and have the cheddar and sour cream flavored ruffles between two slices of white bread.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:33 PM on February 28, 2012


I hadn't heard of strawberries and pepper, but it seems reasonable. Growing up, ice-cold ripe cantaloupe wasn't complete without fine ground pepper. It's divine. The flavor complements cantaloupe really well, and the combination of hot/cold is always fun.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 10:37 PM on February 28, 2012


Berries and pepper is great. A dessert I discovered a few years back: berries in red wine mixed with a healthy amount of ground black pepper. Simple and fabulous.
posted by Decani at 10:44 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


That suggestion to toss in some of the foliage from a tomato plant to punch up the flavor - aren't the stems and leaves full of deadly alkaloids like the rest of the Solanaceae?
posted by gingerest at 10:46 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Watermelon goes well with (Russian) dark rye bread.
posted by parudox at 10:48 PM on February 28, 2012


Oreos and milk. You might think I'm joking that this is an honest suggestion, but I did this at dinner with friends in college, and one of our friends was amazed. We all thought she was joking, but apparently she had never seen anyone dunk an Oreo in milk.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:53 PM on February 28, 2012


potato-chip sandwiches

Potato chip sandwiches aren't that unusual, at least not to the Brits. It's a such standard in the junk food diet there that ASDA (the Walmart of the UK) sold it for a while. See also the ubiquitous chip butty...

(I completely appreciate that British cuisine is not always a yardstick for normality)
posted by rh at 10:55 PM on February 28, 2012


Scotch and a Dark Stout (sip one, then the other)

That is a disturbing and weird combination. I will stick with Bourbon and Yuengling, thank you very much.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:09 PM on February 28, 2012


Growing up, ice-cold ripe cantaloupe wasn't complete without fine ground pepper.

I'd use crushed pepper, but yes, this is standard issue in France.
posted by Wolof at 11:11 PM on February 28, 2012


My dad loves peanut butter, sweet onion, and cheddar sandwiches. I'm not a fan of raw onion, but I could eat one of those right now.
posted by bloggerwench at 11:16 PM on February 28, 2012


Honey and sliced onion on toast.
habanero peach cobbler.
lime jello with horseradish.
posted by quazichimp at 11:18 PM on February 28, 2012


Jamie Oliver once suggested (via the tv, not personally) trying grated cheddar, instant coffee powder & honey mixed together. Sounds terribly wrong but is wonderfully delicious.
posted by Wantok at 11:20 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


This might be too basic for you who know things about food, but to a turdly chef like me who can follow recipes and nothing more, this article is possibly a gateway to thinking about food in a new way. Adding nutmeg to potatoes? Or vanilla to apples? It's so simple I can remember it, and basic enough a combination that I might test it in a number of recipes.

Now if somebody can tell me what spice to add to an ordinary cheeseburger to make it unexpectedly magical, I and my bun-cheese-meat diet of the week would thank you immeasurably.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:30 PM on February 28, 2012


In a sandwich: peanut butter, avocado and rousong.

I love weird sandwich recipes, but the people who live with me think I'm crazy for eating any of it.
posted by movicont at 11:37 PM on February 28, 2012


Coffee and Black beans!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:38 PM on February 28, 2012



Now if somebody can tell me what spice to add to an ordinary cheeseburger to make it unexpectedly magical, I and my bun-cheese-meat diet of the week would thank you immeasurably.

There's a burger joint around the corner from my house that does a "fig and pig;" a burger with gorgonzola, bacon, and pickled figs. It's exquisite.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:01 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Peanut butter, banana and garlic sandwiches. I learnt that one from a Dane.
posted by bz at 12:14 AM on February 29, 2012


Blue cheese melted into dark chocolate ganache! Thought it would taste hideous, but good god damn it is delicious.

Cheddar cheese on ramen.

Also barbeque sauce, kewpie mayo, sesame oil and soy sauce with fresh fried egg on toast. With smoked salmon if possible. I don't know. It's fantastic.
posted by zennish at 12:20 AM on February 29, 2012


Well, I just tried a little Laphroaig on my vanilla ice cream. Not bad.
posted by univac at 12:29 AM on February 29, 2012


PB&J&M(ustard)! Doesn't matter what kind.
posted by funkiwan at 12:36 AM on February 29, 2012


All of those make sense to me. Coffee and chocolate are what I consider "deep notes" that can sub in anywhere to balance a sharp or "high note" taste. Sugar is a "high note" akin to the acid in tomatoes, vinegar or horseradish.

This is why stuff like chili with cocoa and paprika , or steak with cocoa and salt works. Sugar or tomato works in a ragu for exactly the same reason. A high note, low note and a base always work together.

There are other tastes that make no sense to me, and are hit or miss. For me they are buttermilk and creme fraiche. They are tart without being particularly acid.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:04 AM on February 29, 2012


Coffee and chocolate are what I consider "deep notes" that can sub in anywhere to balance a sharp or "high note" taste. Sugar is a "high note" akin to the acid in tomatoes, vinegar or horseradish.


I read a cookbook that said Thai cooking revolves around the balancing of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, and spicy. They compared it to the four legs of a table, with heat or spice being the tabletop. Thinking about flavour combinations based on those categories, rather than "what do I do with chocolate?" was really helpful for me.
posted by dubold at 1:16 AM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


ordinary cheeseburger to make it unexpectedly magical

Coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Don't cook it right out of the fridge, let it get to room temperature then cook.

It helps if you have a good mix of cuts, brisket and sirloin is a favorite.

I would top the burger with red onion, and a mix of mayo, ketchup and a bit of stone ground dijon mustard.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:16 AM on February 29, 2012


Now if somebody can tell me what spice to add to an ordinary cheeseburger to make it unexpectedly magical

Use a good tomato+capsicum chutney under the patty, add some bacon and fried onion, a layer of tomato with cracked pepper and a couple lettuce leaves.

If you wanna go all-out, replace the patty with a couple of thin slices of scotch fillet, very quickly fried to medium. And make the cheese a layer of grilled-on Jarlsberg.
posted by polyglot at 1:23 AM on February 29, 2012


Thinking about flavour combinations based on those categories

Definitely, ingredients may play a different role than you expect. A Hershey's chocolate bar tastes that way because of sugar, not because of cocoa.

Another thing that is useful is to figure out how different preparations change the taste of a raw ingredient. Garlic is the classic example. Whole cloves roasted or browned in oil are sweet. Garlic pressed or chopped is bitter.

It is important to taste not only the raw ingredient but how it tastes after it is prepared.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:24 AM on February 29, 2012


Oh yeah, and the bun should be turkish bread, not that nasty soft sweet stuff. Toast the inside of it, just the inside.
posted by polyglot at 1:26 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, and the bun should be turkish bread, not that nasty soft sweet stuff. Toast the inside of it, just the inside

I use kaiser rolls. If I am going all out I brush the top with cornstarch and water then sprinkle on pretzel rock salt and caraway seeds and stick them in the oven.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:34 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


My standing rule is that whenever you see some odd combination of foods on a menu, you should order that thing, because its continued existence on the menu speaks to its goodness.

Good lord, Australians must be more adventurous; that's a recipe for disaster (heh) here. You end up with the most gimmicky effed up bullshit.

I don't know if it would be considered unusual outside areas of high asian influence or not, but avocado shakes (avocado, milk, sweetened condensed milk and ice blended) are just terrific.
posted by smoke at 2:06 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gruyere and bittersweet chocolate make a delicious combo. The other flavor pairings of the article were not that unusual.

Sandwiches of note:
fig jam, blue cheese or gorgonzola dolce on a hearty grain bread
cranberry preserves, brie and bacon/ham
crisp apple or pear, cheese on hearty grain bread
posted by jadepearl at 2:55 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jezebel Sauce

1 small can black pepper
1 Jar horseradish
1 jar apricot jelly

Mix, then pour over

1 block cream cheese

Spread on crackers
posted by sfts2 at 3:20 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marmite and marmalade on toast. Butter the toast, add a very thin layer of Marmite. Then top that with some orange marmalade.

I call it 'marmamarm'. It's delicious.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:25 AM on February 29, 2012


That suggestion to toss in some of the foliage from a tomato plant to punch up the flavor -aren't the stems and leaves full of deadly alkaloids like the rest of the Solanaceae?

Harold McGee says probably not. (NYTimes link)
posted by purpleclover at 3:26 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Molecular food pairing results in some more interesting combos. Bacon icecream should obviously get an honorable mention. I didn't know that, 'fried bacon can be replaced with a combination of basmati rice, Beijing roasted duck, strawberry and black tea'.
posted by asok at 3:32 AM on February 29, 2012


I found the food combinations to be captain obvious fodder, but sugar on carrots? Not necessary. Carrots have plenty of sugar in them. Slow simmer them in butter with salt and fresh grated ginger. The sugars develop on their own.
posted by plinth at 3:33 AM on February 29, 2012


Fritos and vanilla ice cream.
Also, this baked beans recipe calls for pineapple, bourbon, and coffee. It's goddamn delicious.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:39 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Missing one of the best combos ever: peanut butter and bacon sammitches. Don't knock it 'til you try it.

Also, don't overdo the cooking with tomato foliage thing. Tomatoes are in the nightshade family, and the vines contain tomatine. It's poisonous. A little probably won't hurt you, but.....
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:42 AM on February 29, 2012


Carrots and sugar, or agave syrup, or honey = cezerye

Ingredients
- 400g carrot
- 200g sugar
- 100g walnut, crumbled
- Grated coconut
- A little water

Grate carrots and put it in a large pot. Melt sugar in a little water and pour this into the pot. Boil it over medium heat. Do not pour much water at the beginning as carrots also release their juice. Adding little hot water when necessary is better.
These spices are not said aloud, as it’s their secret, but dad says it contains cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and clove. Maybe amounts of these spices determine the outstanding taste of their cezerye. Also, it has varieties with walnut, pistachio and hazelnut (my favorite).
posted by asok at 3:45 AM on February 29, 2012


I'll play though: Peanut butter, tomato and mayonaise sandwich. Yum.

My father packed a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich for lunch almost every day. It's not a terrible combo, actually.

As others have said, that list isn't really odd.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:04 AM on February 29, 2012


I was doing all of these already, except for the tomato branch one. I had also believed that the leaves are poisonous. Nice to see it debunked.
posted by lollusc at 4:14 AM on February 29, 2012


Reading through the comments here more carefully, though, I'm finding some interesting new ones.

The potato chip sandwich is pretty normal in my neck of the woods (New Zealand), but it is traditionally made with vegemite too.

My contribution to the list is french fries dipped in vanilla ice cream. But I think it's the textures that combine well more than the flavours. Although salty and sweet is a good combo too.
posted by lollusc at 4:20 AM on February 29, 2012


pmv: "In order to spice up our crummy frozen pizzas, as a kid we'd also have some boiled frozen loose corn,"

In the UK, sweetcorn on pizza is A Thing. It's everywhere, it's weird and it's messy but yeah, it's pretty good.

Most of the ones in the articles seemed fairly obvious or not weird at all (like coffee and cocoa, and cocoa and chili seems to be everywhere these days), but mayo in cake? That one squicks me out. I have had sauerkraut pie before and it's delicious.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:31 AM on February 29, 2012


Tomato with sprinkled with sugar on dark rye bread = the taste of my Danish childhood.

Danes also like putting weird stuff on pizzas: steak + bearnaise sauce + lettuce on top of regular margarita pizza? Staple in Danish pizza places. It would work but for the fact that you have to take the pizza home with you and the lettuce cooks on the way. Ugh.

Chocolate + beetroot is a fantastic combination in cakes. You can't really taste the beetroot but it adds an underlying earthiness to the chocolate which is just fabulous.
posted by kariebookish at 4:39 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The combos in this thread are far more inventive than most of the ones in the links; some of those are classic. In fact, I am surprised that prosciutto and melon didn't make the list. To the strawberries and balsamic vinegar I would add that if you use really good balsamic and nice ripe strawberries, additional sugar is not needed. Then put both the strawberries and vinegar on top of some good vanilla ice cream and that is about as good as it gets.

This post and thread are useful for my continuing quest for the incompatible food triad.
posted by TedW at 4:40 AM on February 29, 2012


Although it doesn't specifically say this, I can assure you from personal experience that you need to remove the tomato stems from the cooked tomatoes, because no amount of cooking will make the stems edible or palatable. And I'm not even sure they made any difference at all.
posted by crunchland at 4:42 AM on February 29, 2012


And strawberries + balsamic vinegar + black pepper plus a handful of rucola salad = amazing too.
posted by kariebookish at 4:42 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can't really taste the beetroot but it adds an underlying earthiness to the chocolate which is just fabulous.

Probably due to geosmin, which I learned about from this AskMe answer.
posted by TedW at 4:43 AM on February 29, 2012


somehow some people in Texas put salt on their watermelon. ew.

Have you tried it? It makes the watermelon even sweeter, and more, for lack of a better word, melony. My husband (who is a Texan, actually) introduced this to me and I love it.
posted by SuzySmith at 4:47 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Half-ripened peaches dunked in shrimp paste - crunchy, salty, sweet, sour and pungent.
posted by travellingincognito at 5:00 AM on February 29, 2012


Peanut butter and sharp cheddar cheese sandwhich. Really very good.
posted by OmieWise at 5:20 AM on February 29, 2012


...some people in Texas put salt on their watermelon

My husband (who is a Texan, actually) introduced this to me and I love it.


There are a lot of people in Georgia who do this to; it seems popular throughout the South. I've tried it but wasn't too impressed.
posted by TedW at 5:24 AM on February 29, 2012


Now if somebody can tell me what spice to add to an ordinary cheeseburger to make it unexpectedly magical, I and my bun-cheese-meat diet of the week would thank you immeasurably.

A friend of mine adds fresh thyme (lemon thyme works well too) to her burgers when she's making the patties. They're delicious.
posted by rtha at 5:47 AM on February 29, 2012


Peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich. Works best with a natural, low-sugar peanut butter.
posted by amy lecteur at 5:48 AM on February 29, 2012


I came for peanut butter + Miracle Whip on white, and almost got there in the very first comment. Truly, MetaFilter is my people.
posted by Shepherd at 5:49 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Benny, as posted above, Tomatoes do not contain solanine, even though they are in the nightshade family.

"Dr. Mendel Friedman of the federal Department of Agriculture contradicts this claim stating that tomatine, a relatively benign alkaloid, is the tomato alkaloid while solanine is found in potatoes. Food science writer Harold McGee has found scant evidence for tomato toxicity in the medical and veterinary literature."
source

The chocolate and coffee wasn't a recommendation to try chocolate flavoring in your coffee, it was meant more of a "if you're baking with chocolate, try throwing in a pinch of ground coffee". Still hardly ground breaking though.

For the carrots and sugar, I've always made glazed carrots using carrots + orange juice. I thought that was the basic recipe, but maybe not.

Find any 2 or 3 ingredients from a like group and you can't go wrong. Honey, Cheese, Chocolate in any pairing, Fruit and spices (try lime + cayenne on corn), or dairy and herbs.

Salt and anything or butter and anything almost always work as well.

Kind of like making potions in skyrim, amirite?
posted by Crash at 6:20 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


On my three millionth death day, I intend to get tanked with my living friends and have a fried egg chili chutney sandwich, a "state-of-the-art sarnie"'.

Here, an holographic Chris Barrie 'enjoys' an invisible (to us) one.

Acting!!
 
posted by Herodios at 6:23 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Has anyone tried a black bean chocolate cake? (Warning: preachy blog post ahead.)
posted by runningwithscissors at 6:27 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I you're making a pot roast, or any good dark beef stew, add some instant coffee (espresso powder works) to the cooking liquid before you put the pot in the oven or turn on the slow cooker.
posted by rtha at 6:41 AM on February 29, 2012


kariebookish Bearnaise on a pizza sounds fantastic, I must go to Denmark apparently.
posted by Carillon at 6:47 AM on February 29, 2012


Peanut butter and cucumber. Better if the cucumber is small (I swear smaller cucumbers have better flavor) and is summer fresh.
posted by DisreputableDog at 6:57 AM on February 29, 2012


In blue collar Baltimore, at least in my grandmother's generation, cantaloupe is considered semi-savory, and hit with salt and pepper. It's lovely that way.

I find scrapple, sliced extra thin, fried extra crispy, and crumbled, makes a perfect counterpoint to homemade ice cream. Sweet and salty in a direction peripheral to the overused bacon thing.

I'm also a big fan of milk/cream in soda, and am quite proud that I introduced my nieces to the concept and had them take it up in earnest. It doesn't go well with diet Mountain Dew or astringent sodas, but most brown sodas take it well. Only word of warning is that, for some reason, the little cup-type half & half you get at fast food joints and fountain root beer turn into an uncontrollable science fair volcano, so it's best to keep your shaggy coagulated soda experiments to areas in which you don't mind occasionally being the center girl at a soft drink bukkake session.
posted by sonascope at 7:00 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Surprised how often the peanutbutter and mayo sandwich I invented back in my college days comes up here on mefi. I guess great minds really *do* think alike.

I will have to try the variation noted in the first comment with tomato though. I can afford that luxury now.
posted by some loser at 7:02 AM on February 29, 2012


Also, if you happen to be in Pittsburgh, you can always get a sandwich at Primanti Brothers. It helps not to make the rookie outsider mistake of ordering it with fries, though, because that adds up to too damn many fries.
posted by sonascope at 7:03 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of my favorites: Elsie's Combo (sandwich) at Tommy's in Cleveland Heights: Fried eggs, bacon, peanut butter*, lettuce, tomato, mayo, american cheese, on pita.

Why american cheese? Because Tommy hasn't changed a recipe in 35 years.

However, you could propose a substitution, and if it goes over, he'll add it to the menu and name it after you.

Elsie did.

N.B.: Tommys are designed for the enjoyment of flavor combinations, not competitive gluttony. So if you want fries with that, you'll have to order them separately.

**no salt, no sugar.
posted by Herodios at 7:11 AM on February 29, 2012


My mama makes potato salad with French dressing* and it is insanely good once you get past the color. People always think it's squash because of the orangeness but there's something about that dressing that makes it super delicious. My parents have been divorced since 1988 and my dad still brings up her potato salad once in a while.

*It's not only French dressing, it's also mayo/miracle whip, pickle juice, pickles, egg, salt, pepper, spices etc.
posted by Kimberly at 7:12 AM on February 29, 2012


Toasted buttered english muffin with crunchy peanut butter and sharp cheddar cheese. Breakfast of the gods, that.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:18 AM on February 29, 2012


And for lunch sardines (or tuna), onion, hot sauce and cheese sandwiches.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:20 AM on February 29, 2012


Last weekend a friend of a friend introduced me to a drink which is a shot of whiskey chased by a shot of pickle juice (ideally naturally fermented, not the yellow vinegar stuff). It was delicious.
posted by gauche at 7:24 AM on February 29, 2012


On a heavy sweat and sour rye, of course.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:24 AM on February 29, 2012


Recently went out to lunch with friends, and had a chicken sandwich with apple on it. It was fabulous- sliced roasted chicken, spinach, honey mustard, caramelized onions, slices of granny smith apple, covered in Muenster.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:37 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Limburger cheese and raw onion on rye.
posted by Floydd at 8:00 AM on February 29, 2012


Limburger cheese and raw onion on rye. That's not a weird food combinations. That's a classic.

And absolutely fantastic . . . don't forget the mustard! My kids call it "stinky sandwich".
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:06 AM on February 29, 2012


I tried the fish sticks and custard concoction that was in that Doctor Who episode. It was actually good. It would probably have been even better had I used real custard instead of instant pudding.

(And I'm thinking banana flavor, also)
posted by dirigibleman at 8:31 AM on February 29, 2012


I always loved meatballs with tomato sauce slathered with mayo. Haven't had it in years but am craving one now!
posted by klwatts at 8:41 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


They go really well together.

Actually unusual food combinations: mint and mustard! parmesan and cocoa! chicken and rose (not that unusual in near eastern cooking I guess)! Garlic, coffee, and chocolate!
posted by kenko at 8:42 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apricot and mushroom!
posted by kenko at 8:42 AM on February 29, 2012


Not sure if marmalade and sharp cheddar on toast is unusual, but it's incredibly delicious. A question about the bacon and peanut butter combo - is that 'natural' peanut butter or the supermarket variety?
posted by smilingtiger at 9:02 AM on February 29, 2012


Fresh sliced peaches with cracked black pepper and a bit of white vinegar. Yummmm. On the alcoholic side, a paralyzer is a hell of a drink--tequila, kaluha, coke and milk. You can switch vodka for the tequila and call it a cocaine.
posted by Go Banana at 9:05 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Vegemite on Wasabi Peas
The spiciness of the Wasabi overrides the nasty aftertaste of the Vegemite.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:25 AM on February 29, 2012


Grilled lamb + a dab of honey on each bite. You're welcome.
posted by ReginaHart at 9:43 AM on February 29, 2012


A question about the bacon and peanut butter combo - is that 'natural' peanut butter or the supermarket variety?

Just plain ol' Skippy or Jif. The sandwiches are best, IMO, if the bacon is a little on the crispy side, and the bread is lightly toasted.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:44 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now if somebody can tell me what spice to add to an ordinary cheeseburger to make it unexpectedly magical, I and my bun-cheese-meat diet of the week would thank you immeasurably.

Cumin. The answer to this question is *Cumin*.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:21 AM on February 29, 2012


Lost me a bit when they said you shouldn't put salt on tomatoes, which is just wrong, and measurably so. The high glutamic acid content in tomatoes needs a little salt in order to bring out the umami flavour. This is also why there is some salt in Parmesan cheese and soy sauce, and why Marmite really comes into its own with buttered toast.

The rest was fairly predictable.

/dickheadfoodnerd
posted by howfar at 10:25 AM on February 29, 2012


Soy sauce on corn instead of salt. It just makes it so much more....corny. Especially frozen corn in a pan with butter.
posted by mikesch at 10:37 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only one of these is even slightly unusual to me. Can anyone vouch for using tomato foliage? Tomato plants smell like bug spray to me, not delicious tomato.
posted by cmoj at 10:52 AM on February 29, 2012


In high school there was a foreign exchange student from Germany who insisted on putting butter and sugar on popcorn. I obliged and it was most certainly not for me, but she was tall, blonde, exotic (to a 17 year old from Minnesota especially) and in my basement watching Saturday Night Live with me so I said many times how wonderful it was. It was not, but Uta if you're reading this now, I'd put on the same smile and make some more popcorn with sugar if you were here today.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:06 AM on February 29, 2012


I put salt on my ice cream...

soft-serve vanilla ice cream on saltines is perfect
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:28 AM on February 29, 2012


In high school there was a foreign exchange student from Germany who insisted on putting butter and sugar on popcorn.

So, like kettle corn, yeah? Kettle corn is fantastic.

The ice cream place near us does a flavor called Secret Breakfast. It's bourbon and cornflakes.

And I went by my fancy donut place this morning hoping they'd have my favorite: chocolate almond rosemary. Sadly, not today.
posted by rtha at 11:33 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, like kettle corn, yeah? Kettle corn is fantastic.

Kettle corn is fantastic, but this was not kettle corn. This was air popped corn topped with raw butter and sugar. It's amazing what a little carmelizing can do.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:36 AM on February 29, 2012


That suggestion to toss in some of the foliage from a tomato plant to punch up the flavor - aren't the stems and leaves full of deadly alkaloids like the rest of the Solanaceae?

I've been making tomato sauce this way for several years and I'm still here. Works especially well with cherry tomatoes, since it's less work to just toss them in a pot with whatever stem is still attached. Plus, cherry tomatoes tend to be sweeter than slicers, and the greenery adds a touch of savory tomato quality to the sauce.

Method: Throw cherry tomatoes in large pot. Turn on heat. Let cook down. Run through food mill.
Result: Delicious summery tomato sauce.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:04 PM on February 29, 2012


fallacy of the beard: "I put salt on my ice cream...

soft-serve vanilla ice cream on saltines is perfect
"

Wendy's Frosty with french fries. Divine.
posted by Gordafarin at 12:10 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I was a kid, my mom would ... ok, weekly ... make swanson's tv dinners. I always liked the meatloaf meal because when I was done with the main course, I had a sweet tomato sauce to dip the chocolate cake / brownie dessert that also came with the meal. Then again, I was also known to be the first person up on a Saturday morning so I could get an early start on the cartoons, and I dined on a jar of dill pickles and a tall glass of milk.
posted by crunchland at 12:35 PM on February 29, 2012


Toasted buttered english muffin with crunchy peanut butter and sharp cheddar cheese. Breakfast of the gods, that.

Sometimes I like really salty/unsweetened natural peanut butter (like Adams) on a cheddar cheese bun.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:03 PM on February 29, 2012


love making this salad during the summer : cubed WATERMELON sprinkled with FETA CHEESE and FRESH MINT LEAVES.

you're welcome.
posted by liza at 4:49 PM on February 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Raspberry and thyme. Make it into sorbet. Awesome.
posted by Pazzovizza at 4:54 PM on February 29, 2012


It wasn't just your one German friend: in Germany when you buy popcorn at the movies they ask you "Salty or sweet?"

As a kid (not German) we always ate popcorn dusted with icing sugar (powdered sugar). I didn't even know you could make it with butter and salt until I was all grown up.
posted by lollusc at 6:42 PM on February 29, 2012


A pinch of cinnamon to anything you cook, fry, bake, whatever. Try it sometime.
posted by not_on_display at 10:07 PM on February 29, 2012


Fresh grapefruit segments with chopped, fresh mint. Amazing, surprising combo and sooo delicious!
posted by nickyskye at 11:19 PM on February 29, 2012


One day at lunch, our nine-month-old wasn't eating his mashed parsnip, and wasn't eating his applesauce, so we mixed them together and rolled on Potions Miscibility: excellent combination! The parsnip's bitterness and woody taste gets muted by the tart/sweet of the apple, but its spicy and caramel (roasted) come through and go very well. I have to try this in a pie. Puree the parsnip and mix in with chopped apple?

I see now apple/parsnip is a known thing (here's Apple-Parsnip Mash on marthastewart.com) -- mostly savories, which sounds good too -- but new to me.

(Parsnip-pear?)
(Parsnip-rhubarb, or does that not overlap enough to hang together?)
posted by away for regrooving at 11:22 PM on February 29, 2012


Oh yes, remembered from years ago. Learned from a Swedish baron, living in Fribourg Switzerland, while listening to Demis Roussos. Post coital munchies.

Edam cheese, sliced thin, on toast with apricot preserves on top.

And, of course prosciutto and melon. Or prosciutto and slices of pear. Prosciutto and slices of peach.
posted by nickyskye at 11:27 PM on February 29, 2012


Thank you for letting us know!

I bet parsnip and rhubarb would be good together, especially if the parsnip is young and not too woody/bitter.
posted by rtha at 8:04 AM on March 1, 2012


Number of times salt is mentioned in this thread: 33 times.
Number of times peanut butter mentioned in this thread: 22
Number of times mayo mentioned 11 times.
posted by storybored at 8:54 AM on March 1, 2012



About half a shot of rootbeer schnapps mixed into a can of PBR is absolutely heavenly. I know it sounds puke-tastic, but trust me. I, too, was once dubious.

(Credit for this one, as far as I know, goes to slackdog.)
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:37 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


> I performed many experiments combining crabmeat with blueberries. I can report that there seems to be nothing of value in that direction

Shrimp and blackberries can work together, I found out recently. At a cooking class I made Shrimp Kebabs with Zesty Blackberry Sauce (the teacher's name for it) and it was quite good.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:21 PM on March 4, 2012


Oh, and a salad with pitted fresh cherries, cucumbers, and cilantro with a light vinegrette dressing is a surprisingly awesome summer salad.
posted by Crash at 8:55 AM on March 5, 2012


Coffee and chilis
posted by melt away at 4:45 AM on March 8, 2012


Instant oatmeal microwaved with......a Kraft Single! Creamy yumminess.
posted by storybored at 8:22 AM on March 9, 2012


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