HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Fruit with Meat; a Do or a Don't

I'm interested to see how people feel about the Meat fruit combo.

I personally don't like it. I don't hate it, and will eat roasted duck with wild cherries if it's presented to me.

Maybe it's the sweet & savory combo that I don't like. No applesauce on my potato pancakes please.

What's your take??

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I love sweet and savory, but not usually with meat. I hate chicken in a sweet sauce or too sweet Chinese-American food. I love sweet and savory otherwise though: cheese w/preserves, slightly sweet tomato sauce w/ red pepper flakes, sweetish mayo w/tomatoes and salt on toast, the sweetness of vegetables in a risotto, and the applesauce and sour cream w/potato pancakes.
    oh one exception to the meat rule, chicken and waffles w/maple syrup is a brilliant combination.

    1. I love sweet and salty and I do really like a well balanced sweet and sour combination. I think much or the restaurant prepared sweet and sour dishes are too sweet so I rarely order them. My applesauce is natural with no added sugar and I do like it with potato pancakes.

      1. If you don't like it, too bad for you. I've had many great dishes that combine the two.

        Empanadas with raisins from Argentina. Pork with fresh mango from Burma. Venison terrine with blueberries from the Savoy, France.

        It is far from being the automatic 'do not order' - like seafood and cheese.

        Thare, I've started another argument!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve

          Yes, definitely an argument on this one. I can't imagine following an anti seafood/cheese rule; it would cut out crabmeat au gratin, oysters mosca, char-grilled oysters with parmesan, etc.

        2. I really enjoy sweet with meats - apricot with chicken, blackberry or raspberry with duck, orange with beef (or my Mom's lemon pot roast). I think the difference is it can't be overwhelmingly sweet - there has to be some "tang" - from vinegar, sour citrus, ginger - something to cut the sweetness and give it some oomph.

          So ginger and orange with chicken? Absolutely. Apples and unpasteurized apple cider and apple cider vinegar with pork? Most definitely.

          1. I do like some savory sweet combinations; cheese with pears, french fries dipped in icecream (i swear it's great) but fruit and meat simply isn't something I'm passionate about.

            1. My first reaction was uh-uh. Don't like it. But I do love sauteed apples with my pork chops. And raisins, pears, or apricots in my tagines. And my Hungarian grandmother used to make a brisket with apricots and prunes. Sounds horrendous as I type it, but it was a special treat when I was a kid. Wonder how I'd like it today?

              1. I love fruit-meat combinations... especially beef dredged in cocoa powder and then sauteed, with cherry sauce. (It's a dessert.) And I always simmer pork chops in orange juice.

                1. I loooove fruit-meat combo as well -- be it meatballs with lingonberry, or plov with lamb and apricots, carbonade of beef flamande with prunes, chicken with mango chutney, port with blue cheese, candied walnuts and figs, etc, etc.
                  I think sweet and savory complement each other really well (although I must admit I am a desert person if that makes it less weird)

                  1. I hate fruit with meat combinations, except when it comes to foie gras...seared foie gras with mango or papaya mojo is really nice.

                    1. I love the fruit/meat combinations found in Moroccan cooking. And don't forget, olives are fruits. Okay, I apologize; I know that's not what you meant.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Mrs Fang

                        Tomatoes are fruits, too. No ketchup on Kate's burgers?

                        1. re: Gary Soup

                          Mayo and Avocado on Kate's burgers... Mmmmm

                          I wonder why they consider that California style. Is best foods/hellman's based out of california? I know that avocado's are clearly the place to get avocado in the US, but lots of times a "california style burger" is just a burger with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

                      2. One warning.

                        Don't cook pineapple directly with the meat. I baked ham with fresh pineapple last year and the enzymes in the pineapple turned the ham into mush.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jlawrence01

                          This only happens with fresh. The same will happen if you use fresh kiwi or papaya -- it's the papain in the fruit that breaks down the meat. The canning process wipes out a majority of the papain and so canned pineapple (which is really a different beast altogether) will work fine.

                          The general rule is that if you can't put it in Jell-O (and the fruits are usually listed on the box) you can't put it on meat without it breaking down.

                        2. Fruit with meat. It depends on the dish. I take it case by case. For example, I don't like raisins in empanadas but I do like pineapple on pizza sometimes. So, it depends.

                          1. My knee jerk reaction was that I only like fruit with meats that I don't mind sweet (pork or chicken), but then I remembered citrus fruits, which I've used with practically everything.

                            My seafood, poultry, and lamb have all reaped the benefits of lemon (and possibly orange or lime) and my carne asada or green chile wouldn't be the same without lime juice.

                            1. I do not particularly like the chicken fruit combination. I think it's because I just associate both with different situations.

                              I want to eat fruit to be refreshed, and as a light snack, and I want to eat meat as a substantial meal with hearty flavors.

                              I do like chicken with lemon, like in chicken piccata, and chicken with lime, like in fajitas, but that's about it.

                              However, my favorite chinese dish is honey sesame chicken, which is really sweet, but I doubt that it has any actual fruit in it :)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: juliehf

                                oh, i'm definitely down with lemon and lime in my meats. but they aren't sweet!!

                                (goes back to smarty Gary's comment that tomatoes are fruit, but ketsup IS sweet, and I don't love the stuff. I'll take some bearnaise sauce with my frites over ketsup any day of the week!)

                              2. I'm all for fruit and meat combinations: grilled chicken and peaches or mangoes, chicken salad with grapes, chicken roasted with apricots, pork loin roasted with dried plums/prunes ... yum.

                                1. I'm all about sweet and savory... I love...

                                  * Good sweet Cranberry Sauce with turkey.
                                  * Ligonberries with Swedish Meatballs.
                                  * WF's Tuna and Cranberry Salad
                                  * Raisins in my Lumpia (this ALWAYS starts a debate with my Filipino Friends)

                                  My favorite combo is strawberry jam with sausages. It makes SO cringe... LOL! :)


                                  1. I think my aversion to the fruit/meat combo can be attributed to the fact that I usually don't like the texture of cooked fruit (spiced apples, cherries in cherry pie, the exception to this is peach cobbler). But I like using fresh (like lime on beef) and one of my favorite summer time treats is proscuitto wrapped cantaloupe. Yum!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: donnaaries

                                      Yes, that's another combo I forgot! Also Procuitto wrapped in figs. I also always have a bit of Membrillo on my cheese and meat plates! :)


                                    2. I love to grill fruit, but I eat it seperately from my meat, although I love grilled apples and pork and grilled peaches and pork. I love to eat grilled pineapple so much that I will cook it and then want to eat it right off the grill before it can lose even an ounce of the heat. Mmmmm....seared with brown sugar...it's like heaven on a plate

                                      1. There are some combinations I do no like. I don't like Hawaiian pizza with bacon and cheese. I do like most meat and fruit combinations like pork with prunes.

                                        Do you not like fruit and meat because those dishes are unfamiliar to you?

                                        1. I have sweet/savory issues too. Here's the breakdown:

                                          Loves: dates wrapped in bacon, foie gras with peach preserves and mesclun, cheese with fruit.

                                          Hates: Beef, chicken, duck or pork dredged/drizzled/glazed in honey, maple syrup or any combo thereof. Sticky sweet, dessert-like ribs. Lamb with the mint jelly that my mom used to serve. Restauranteurs deciding that every entree should include a sweet-savory combo and leaving no options for the haters. It was worse two years ago, but I still find it on occasion.

                                          1. I don't think I've met a fruit I wouldn't try with meat. Winning combo to me.

                                            One that suprised me (and was fantastic) was at Rumba in New Haven, CT - BBQed banana on top of fish (had several other layers as well). We oohed and aahed over how fantastic it tasted.

                                            1. Chicken stuffed with golden raisins, almonds and whole dried apricots yum

                                              1. Certain parts of the world have traditions for cooking certain kinds of fruit, served with meats. Plantains are a staple throughout Latin America, cooked in various ways; In cuba they make them into mariquitas (long strips thinly sliced and deep fried to a crisp), puerto rico brings tostones (under-ripe plantains cooked twice), with various countries giving us platanos maduros ( sauteed ripe plantains which makes them sweet). While all of these are served as sides, they are usually served with meat, along with beans and maybe rice, for lunch or dinner. I definitely enjoy the contrast, whether it is texture or flavor that plantains provide.

                                                I also like figs or melon with prosciutto, pork chops with apple compote, meat tamales with prunes and/or raisins (popular in the northern mexican states such as sinaloa as well as the gigantic nacatamales of nicaragua), green papaya and salty fish or crab thai style also comes to mind as a good combo.

                                                1. I am with you. I never order or make main dishes with fruit in them (grapes in chicken salad, dried cherries in couscous, mango salsa with fish). However, if that is what there is, I will eat it and enjoy it. I've often wondered why it sounds so unappealing to me when I always end up liking it. Clearly something in the depths of my unconscious.

                                                  1. You KNOW how I feel about this matter...maybe it is genetic :-) I do, however, like non-sweet citrus (lemon and lime) with fish and meat, esp. gremolata with osso bucco. BTW, we had GREAT sushi tonight for dinner.

                                                    1. As a chef, these are the fruit and meat creations that I am most proud of:

                                                      1. Charbroiled Pork Tenderloin & Peaches with Bourbon-Maple Syrup-Balsamic Reduction. Hell Yeahhh!

                                                      2. Roasted Cornish Game Hens with a Basmati Rice-Wild Rice-White Grape-Currant-Orange-Cinnamon-Pine Nut Stuffing.

                                                      3. Seared Magret Duck Breast with Raspberry-Chipotle-Red Onion-Bacon Relish.

                                                      4. Fresh Quebec Foie Gras on Corn Bread with Grilled Pineapple-Ice Wine Reduction.

                                                      1. Not a huge fan of the combo, but there's one I like: it's a grilled Pork Chop served alongside grilled peaches. You must use the best summer peaches you can find, and they're basted in a little melted butter, lime juice and, I think, molasses as they grill. But they go well with simply salt and peppered grilled Pork Chops.

                                                        1. Re: the papain effect, you can use it to your advantage to help make a cheap, sinewy cut of meat into something tender and nice. If you're going to add figs or pineapple (or the like) to a cooked meat dish, you do it at least halfway through cooking (if not longer). One of the best briskets is one made with papaya, but the papaya is added about 15-20 minutes before the meat finishes cooking.


                                                          NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                                                          1. I love fruit meat combos...one christmas comes to mind when, after much family debate lead to replacing the traditional turkey with a gorgeous pork loin stuffed with apricots, prunes, and apple!
                                                            I think Duck is a natural with fruit. Also, there is a wonderful organic butcher in Toronto called the Healthy Butcher on Queen street that sells all sorts of sausages with fruit meat combinations. One great one I have had is a venison/cranberry sausage.