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Toxic Food Combinations [moved from General Topics board]

Ever since I was a little kid, my parents have told me that eating crabs and persimmons together in the same meal is lethal. I highly doubt the validity of this but the image of a slow crab-persimmon induced death has been forever etched in my subconscious.

Are there actual food combinations that are lethal/bad for you?

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  1. I remember my grandmother having a taboo on fish and sweet (not buttermilk) milk. She would swear it would make you sick all night.

    1. According to my family history, one of my mom's siblings died after eating cherries and milk. Mom, of course, scoffs at the notion, but at least some of her older sisters still believe it, some 60+ years later.

      10 Replies
      1. re: ricepad

        I think the cherries and milk myth is older than that--President Zachary Taylor died after a snack of cherries and milk in 1850. Could have been bad milk--typhoid or cholera or something like that.

        I have also heard of the fish and milk thing--my ex-husband swore that combination made him sick. Of course, he is an idiot.

        1. re: sparrowgrass

          I didn't mean that my family ORIGINATED the myth...only that some members believe it. Mom's sister did, in fact, die, and the proximal consumption of cherries and milk convinced my aunts of the connection.

          1. re: ricepad

            That's interesting, I wonder if cherry ice cream or just cherries and anything cream would be the same to them?

            Citrus and milk, mostly orange juice I NEVER have. I rather enjoy the lemon in my salad mixed with the cream sauce on my plate though.

            1. re: BamiaWruz

              One of my favourite things ever is orange juice with a big blog of vanilla ice cream in it.
              Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

              1. re: BamiaWruz

                Better not eat my amazing blood orange panna cotta or lemon pudding cake?
                Imagine life without lemon cheesecake? I think not!

            2. re: sparrowgrass

              I think Taylor was likely poisoned by his 'doctors'. But yes, typhoid was widespread in Washington back then.

            3. re: ricepad

              That can't be right, there is cherry ice cream all over the place.

              1. re: ricepad

                I am horribly allergic to fresh cherries and fresh milk, when consumed within an hour or so of each other. How do I know? By observing cherries in my vomit (ew) many times as a teenager, then realizing that I always drank milk throughout the day, and then deliberately eating the combination twice (!!) and getting violently ill (from both ends) all night after both times. Sweating/chills, projectile vomiting and diarrhea for at least 12 hours, including dry heaves after the stomach was completely empty. Yikes. You would think I'd only have to try it once to figure out my toxic reaction...

                1. re: Emmarie59

                  Did you ever eat cherries by themselves to see if you had a reaction? I know quite a few people, including my kids, who have oral allergy syndrome to cherries.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Yes, many times I've over-eaten cherries with no reaction. This morning I ate around 25 cherries. What a piggie.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Most especially durian and beer. Over ripe durian belches are best avoided if you value your sanity and your friends and family. I wanted to die the one time I had this combo, but unfortunately for the next few hours I remained alive... and suffered greatly. It's a bad day when the smell of your own burps makes your eyes water and you feel faint and nauseous.

                    1. re: JMF

                      That's hilarious! I remember to avoid that combo.

                      I think the perisimmons and crab combo is based on the old Chinese philosophy of ying and yang, that some foods are "hot" and others are "cold" and that certain combinations of these things can create "poisons" in the body. Or at least that's the only coherent explanation I was ever able to get from my parents.

                      1. re: mielimato

                        At a Shenzhen, China hotel, I saw a list of examples of what you're taking about. I wish I could recall the Chinese characters that were omnipresent in the list.

                          1. re: DeppityDawg

                            Ah yes. Though, it says "Cantonese" and lists Mandarin pinyin...

                            1. re: BuildingMyBento

                              Typical Wikipedia sloppiness… But did any of the characters ring a bell? I suspect that this vocabulary is pretty constant across the Chinese regional languages. Well, on second thought, I have no idea. But even in Shenzhen, most written Chinese would likely be in Mandarin (or it could be read equally well in Cantonese and Mandarin).

                      2. re: JMF

                        Dude- sounds like you should have stayed outside- in a crosswind.

                    2. the combination of crab and persimmon is very true, believe it or not. my mom just this very week had a really bad reaction and had to be hospitalized for a day. my mom never had any allergies before either. she first had persimmons then had a crab noodle soup later that night and she had a terrible rash break out all over her body. so, as crazy as it sounds, it's definitely true.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: azndove07

                        On Monday my wife finished up some crab and corn chowder that we had made this weekend. Last night (Tuesday) she ate a persimmon. She didn't say anything about not feeling well. On the other hand, she is still in bed- now I'm wondering if I need to go wake her up to check on her!

                      2. Raw shellfish and beer, I've heard. I always make sure to drink something else.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: coll

                          Raw oysters w/o beer? Please, say it isn't so!

                          1. re: coll

                            Guinness is a traditional accompaniment for oysters on the half shell. Beer often takes the place of sake at sushi and sashimi bars that serve raw scallops and other uncooked shellfish. Have never heard of anyone complaining of ill effects from the combination.

                            1. re: carswell

                              My brother in law told me that one, maybe he just had a hangover!

                            2. re: coll

                              The quantities of beer and raw oysters consumed every day in Louisiana would argue against this. Man, i want some oysters.

                              1. re: frankiii

                                Raw oysters of marine life, or oysters coming from some meat animal? Yikes! (if the latter)

                              2. re: coll

                                Have always heard that raw oysters and "hard" liquor will not sit well.
                                We had a local celebrity here once get pulled over for DUI and claimed it was the whiskey and oysters he had consumed, that was causing him to weave all over the road...

                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                    Oh come on now, I'm sure it was at least HALF true!

                                    >:D

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Scouts Honor. Became a local catchphrase "Beltway Oysters"

                                    1. re: Hue

                                      But how about oyster shooters? Pretty funny about local celeb.