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Better Together

Some foods, while good on their own, really shine when paired with a partner. Take chocolate and vanilla, tomato and basil, peanut butter and bananas, artichokes and mayo.

What other pairings are there that elevate both (or even just one) partner(s)? For what combinations is the sum greater than the parts?

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  1. Wine and cheese. Bread and butter. Coffee and cream. Key lime and graham cracker.

    1. Avocado and lobster, shrimp, or seafood salad (creamy)

      cucumbers & dill. potatoes and butter. bread and cheese. bacon and (... almost anything) eggs, perhaps. burger and cheese. smoked fish and horseradish.

      wow. hungry now.

      1. Apples and peanut butter yummmm.

        Eggs and ketchup (for me at least).

        Edit: I just remembered nachos and margaritas.

        1 Reply
        1. re: xena1441

          definitely agree ketchup and egg whites... well for me ketchup with lots of things (cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, blackened halibut...)

        2. Fresh goat cheese and beets/yams/sweet potatoes

          Cherries and almond extract/flavor

          3 Replies
          1. re: Metalee

            Fried Chicken & Champagne
            French Fries & Champagne
            Potato Chips & Champagne
            Seafood & Lemon
            Crab Legs & Drawn Butter
            Chips & Salsa

            1. re: bubbles4me

              I'm with you-bubbles4me TOO! :) champagne and cheese is my absolute fav

              1. re: mmuch

                As I'd said, I've frequently had pizza in Italy served with a vino frizzante. Never with real champagne, though of course you could. Not an overdressed-style pizza though - better just either a pizza bianca with some cheese and herbs or a lightly tomatoed one with cheese. A festive pairing. Good cheese, please.

          2. Pizza and beer
            Franks and beans
            Fish and chips
            Pie and ice cream
            Cookies and milk
            Doughnuts and coffee

            1. chocolate & hazelnut - the hazelnut definitely reaps the greater benefit.

              s'mores - each component is good on its own, but they're infinitely better [particularly the graham cracker & marshmallow] in combination.

              1. I used to love cheddar cheese and big sourdough pretzels and milk for my after school snack. Very yummy! I also like a little glass of milk with a chocolate bar. My grandmother adored orange sherbert and chocolate ice cream together and my mom, her daughter in law gave her the idea! A new one for me is baked sweet potato with pulled pork barbecue. I like pork roast with hot rolls sauerkraut and apple sauce. Waffles with powdered sugar. Ok I could go on but getting way too hungry! I'll check back later for more awesome combos from my fellow hounds.

                1. Coffee and cigarettes
                  Alcohol and cigarettes
                  Life and cherries
                  Peaches and cream
                  Bagels and lox
                  Chocolate and lemon
                  PB and J

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: adamshoe

                    Forever classic :

                    PB and J

                    Thank you, adamshoe!

                    1. re: adamshoe

                      I don't smoke anymore, but I have to say coffee and cigarettes (or a shot of tequila and a cigarette) was one of my favorite things:)

                    2. I've mentioned this elsewhere - north carolina vinegar-based bbq sauce with bbqed pork. I never really "got" the very thin sauce until actually putting it on bbqed pulled pork. Like you say, the sum being greater than the parts.

                      This, I only saw on some food network program, so don't have first hand knowledge: poi and spam. Apparently when paired, they truly sing.

                      Can anyone attest to this, or is it simply hooey?

                      1. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar.

                        Vanilla ice cream and balsamic.

                        Tomato and tarragon, esp. with white wine vin.

                        Mushrooms and cajun spice.

                        Eggs with cayenne and garlic.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: scuzzo

                          The other night, I mixed some fresh raspberries and the last of the blueberries with aged balsamic, a light grind of black pepper and topped with a small spoon of vanilla ice cream. My dining companion thought I was nuts (he was just having ice cream with berries) until he took a spoonful. I think he swooned slightly. :)

                          1. re: 4Snisl

                            My family refused to try vanilla and balsamic! Their loss.

                        2. kimchi & any pork product

                          enough said

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: bitsubeats

                            Any preparation, kind or relative of cabbage and any pork product. The fact that cabbages and pigs tend to grow well in the same (often inhospitable) climate is yet another sign that God loves us.

                            1. re: Will Owen

                              Thank you for sharing this! You really made me smile. Seriously.

                          2. Turkey & dressing
                            Fritos & onion dip
                            Martini & olives
                            Pears & ginger

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: meatn3

                              I totally agree with pears and ginger!

                              I'll add apple pie and cheddar, Sauternes and a stinky blue, vanilla ice cream and Guinnes.

                              1. No laughing. . . the perfect salt and sweet- potatoe chips and vanilla ice cream.

                                1. Eggs fried in butter. Some places use oil or margarine.
                                  Cold lobster and mayonnaise.
                                  Chinese food and beer.
                                  Pastrami and beer.
                                  Figs and bleu cheese.
                                  Pears and goat cheese.
                                  Guacamole and tortilla chips.
                                  Bacon, turkey, lettuce and tomato.
                                  Bacon or ham and eggs.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: phantomdoc

                                    chicken and mayo... as a kid, when my grandmother or mother would make chicken soup from scratch, we'd get a bowl of soup that had lokshen and carrots and celery in broth, and we'd eat the chicken on the side dipper in mayo.

                                  2. marshmallows and chocolate and graham crackers
                                    lavender, rosemary, garlic and roasted chicken
                                    wine and cheese
                                    strawberries and aged balsamic
                                    lobster and drawn butter
                                    bacon and anything

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      anything, eh? that reminds me of the afternoon I spent with a friend trying to think of anything that wouldn't taste good fried.

                                      1. re: Olallieberry

                                        You only devoted one afternoon to it?

                                        I recently had fried green beans as an app - it was new to me and fabulous!

                                        1. re: meatn3

                                          The fried green beans - were they batter-dipped?

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            Tempura - nice and light, the beans still retained a clean, fresh taste, but airy somehow. Slightly reminiscent of those snap pea crisps (available at TJ and others). Everyone at our table who tried them was pleasantly stunned by how good they were! Here's the menu -


                                    2. Lox and cream cheese. I couldn't eat lox without cream cheese!

                                      1. Pears and Manchego cheese
                                        Apples and Cheddar cheese
                                        Tomatoes and Fresh Moz

                                        I love cheese and love fruit! :P

                                        1. coffee and croissants!

                                          garlic and just about anything... but garlic and ginger is sensational.

                                          And I prefer Asian foods with Germanic-varietal white wines (from Germany, Alsace or Austria)...

                                          Try pizza with prosecco or another slightly fizzy white wine!

                                          1. turkey and cranberry sauce
                                            mashed potatoes and gravy
                                            avocado and coarse salt
                                            shrimp and cocktail sauce
                                            refried beans and cheese
                                            corn on the cob and butter

                                            1. Pumpkin cake/muffin with cream cheese (frosting or just plain spread on)
                                              Avocado and lemon
                                              Spinach and mint

                                              1. strawberries and English cream
                                                toast and butter
                                                coffee with half and half (and the cigarette!)
                                                tomatoes with mayo
                                                fries (chips) and ketchup
                                                gefilte fish with chrein

                                                1. Pizza and anchovies.
                                                  Fig Newtons and Guinness stout.
                                                  Smoked salmon and dill.
                                                  Home fries and runny egg yolk.
                                                  French toast and maple syrup.
                                                  Gefilte fish and horseradish.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                    "Home fries and runny egg yolk."


                                                    1. re: laliz

                                                      I really love a runny yolk fried egg atop a cheesy fried slice of polenta. Outta this world!

                                                      Fig Newtons and Guinness sounds great too!

                                                  2. Cheddar and onions
                                                    Apple slices (lightly salted) and thin onion slices
                                                    Any dish with cabbage and tomatoes

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: DockPotato

                                                      Beets and hard-boiled eggs on endive.

                                                    2. Chocolate & bourbon

                                                      Laab & khao niyao

                                                      Musubi & teriyaki

                                                      Ume & hot gohan

                                                      Bread from the oven & butter

                                                      Weiners & sauerkraut

                                                      Monterrey jack & saltines

                                                      Bread & cheese

                                                      And, if I have a steak (once or twice a year) I have to have hot rice.

                                                      1. so many good combinations already listed, but i'll add:
                                                        frozen yogurt & peanut butter
                                                        mozzarella, tomatoes & basil
                                                        avocado & sea salt
                                                        olives & cheese (& wine!)
                                                        mmm hungry!

                                                        1. wow you guys are good i think you covered everything...I like:
                                                          raw veggies and rach dressing..apples and honey..rice and beans..tomatos and balsamic vinegar...fried chicken and beer...Italian food and wine....cucumbers and cesear dressing
                                                          SPICY buffalo wings and blue cheese....pretzels and mustard or nacho cheese...i was having a moment but NY Style pickles and haagen daaz Rum Raisin ice cream haha! (no i wasnt drunk!) my fav...wine with anything!!