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Weird combinations?

Today at a food expo, one of the vendors was proudly sampling their curry white chocolate. It sounded strange, but interesting, so we tried a bite.

It WAS weird. It was definitely curry (sweet, not hot), and it was definitely white chocolate -- very sweet and creamy.

But it just ended up tasting like you'd dumped curry powder on a piece of white chocolate...one of the strangest flavor combinations I've ever tried. It wasn't bad -- I didn't hate it -- but I'd sure never seek it out again.

So...what's the strangest flavor combination you've ever tried? One you liked, one you hated, or one that just left you scratching your head -- but one that you'd never have thought to put together...

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  1. At a really nice restaurant with a very talented chef, I had lobster creme brulee. I... liked it?
    There was this disconnect between this "dessert" which is generally sweet and creamy, and the savory, very rich lobster flavor.

    1. This topic has been explored--see the link below, to a thread has been going for over four years and has nearly 950 replies at this moment (I've been wondering whether/when it will hit 1,000).

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/404973

      1 Reply
      1. re: johnb

        ah, but that one specifically restricts it to things that one actually *liked*, and I asked about *any* reaction -- and sorry, but I'm not going to wade through hundreds of 4-year-old responses. (and it loads so slowly as to make me not even want to try).

      2. I had a duck confit grilled cheese with green apples and havarti. It was spectacular.

        DH enjoys peanut butter on pizza. I haven't been tempted by that one yet.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Olliegator

          ooh. the duck/apples/havarti sounds awesome. Peanut butter on pizza, not so much.'

          1. re: sunshine842

            I tried not to yuck his yum.....but seriously? He tells me that he will try sushi when I try PB on pizza. That will not happen.

            1. re: Olliegator

              what else goes on the pizza with the peanut butter? I could see a pizza going down a fairly tasty route if you used peanut butter as a base, then some sliced fruit and drizzled with chocolate...but somehow I don't think that's what he's doing.

              1. re: sunshine842

                In high school I developed a taste for M and Ms on Pizza Hut pizza. Rarely have the opportunity now since I don't buy either. I think they were best on the plain cheese variety.

        2. I was served skate in raspberry sauce in France.
          It was nauseating.

          In Belgium I tried some unusual chocolates from the Chocolate Line that I tried to like - I'm not sure which was the most revolting.
          http://www.thechocolateline.be/

          2 Replies
          1. re: Peg

            the basil, sun dried tomato, and black olive one sounds pretty dang nasty...

            my ex's father loves a nathan's hot dog on martin's potato bread with peanut butter and yellow mustard. That to me is too gross to even try, and that's saying a lot since I'll usually try anything. Oh and he loves canned corned beef hash (the cheap kind that looks and smells like dog food) mixed with apple sauce and ketchup. It just looks and smells even worse (and yes it's possible) than it did to start off.

            1. re: kubasd23

              Update: I tried the hot dog combo..... I have to admit, I like it!! Salty/sweet/sharp/meaty/bready.... I just had a bite, but I was impressed.

          2. I'll refrain from resurrecting that 1000+ "strange pairings" thread. Here's a link about this topic.
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05... Embedded within it is a link to a food pairings site. Tomato catsup on bananas? Methinks blech!

            8 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              Shuddering over the bananas/ketchup combo.
              Ben and Jerry's came out with a new flavor ( or new to me) called late night snack. Its a vanilla ice cream with salted caramel and chocolate covered potato chips. I thought oh yuk. But its good. Not really, really good but good.

              1. re: suzigirl

                I've been circling that late night snack flavor for a while now - to me it sounds great, but I'm not a sweet person, and like a kick of salt in my dessert (think sea salt chocolate, sea salt caramel ice cream, etc.).

                My favorite rendition of a sundae comes with salted peanuts. Yum.

                1. re: linguafood

                  I'm not a sweets person either. Maybe why I didn't find it stellar. I was also drawn in by the salty/sweet concept. The chips are round. I say try it. I think you'll like it.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I have to change my vote on the Ben & Jerry's. I had only eaten a small serving the other day and was missing the caramel entirely. That is why I gave it a lukewarm review. I just had it again and got a couple of lovely pockets of the stuff. Jump in your car and go get a pint. Oh lord that stuff is good. I want a pint of that and a spoon. Nice salt without going overboard.

                2. re: greygarious

                  greygarious - but, but there is a Filipino banana/tomato ketchup that is indeed quite good as a condiment.

                  1. re: hill food

                    Isn't the Filipino ketchup ONLY bananas (no tomatoes, though it does have vinegar, brown sugar, and spices) though? It was my understanding that it was developed during WWII, when there was a shortage of tomatoes. Because there was a relative surplus of bananas, they used those, and dyed it red to resemble tomato ketchup.

                    Edit: Ketchup gets it's name from a similar sauce called kecap manis, right?

                    1. re: kubasd

                      Yes on kecap manis. Originated in Indonesia. Good stuff.

                      1. re: kubasd

                        OK I'm wrong. but it is good stuff and I do maintain the combo of tomato and banana doesn't have to be odd (although certainly possible)

                  2. Oh god, I have a good one! Scallop with mango slices and strawberry yogurt. I shit you not.

                    The scallop mango combo worked, but what on earth the chef was thinking plonking yogurt on top of it. 'twas pretty, pretty, pretty bad:

                    http://www.foodspotting.com/reviews/1...

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: linguafood

                      I was going to say -- I'm right there with you on the scallops and mango...I could see a strawberry coulis, but yogurt? yuck.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Like a ceviche gone WAY wrong.

                      2. re: linguafood

                        Wow, that sounds really, really ill-conceived. Seafood and fruit can be very nice together, but please, please, leave out the dairy. Especially the kind with sugar.

                        1. re: Isolda

                          Seriously. Who in their right mind just dumps a blob of strawberry yogurt on a scallop? Ick.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around putting strawberry yogurt on anything savory. And I am a big fan of sweet and savory.

                            1. re: linguafood

                              wait -- I thought for a while it was at least *frozen* yogurt -- but it was the peel-the-foil-off-the-plastic-cup yogurt? That's even worse!

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Pretty revolting. And I like strawberry yogurt. Just not on scallops.

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Poor mollusks...

                        2. hazelnut-foie gras ice cream/oatmeal cookie sandwich? Haven't tried it, it's not in my flavor profile either way, but those that have tried it like it...

                          http://losangeles.grubstreet.com/2011...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            That reminds me of a great odd flavor combination I loved. Foie gras profiteroles at Le Pigeon in Portland.

                          2. This is a really low-brow answer, but one of the weirdest combinations to me is something that is frequently served in American chain (and non-chain restaurants that should know better): artichoke dip with tortilla chips. I like tortilla chips. I like the 1970s artichoke dip (mayo, parm, marinated artichoke hearts, cheddar, garlic, are the usual combo). But this and the chips DO NOT go together. Serve that dip with bread. Serve the chips with anything but that dip. Salsa? Guac? Refried beans made with lard? Anything else would be better!

                            1. hmm
                              more of a question but how many people out there put mayonnaise on broccoli? I used to as a kid because my mom did it (she still does all the time) but around my mid-teens, I realized that those two ingredients did not mesh well, at least not for me. Love both, just not together. Is mayo a common condiment for broccoli?

                              19 Replies
                              1. re: circustance

                                My dad did it *all the time* -- I'd almost forgotten about it. Now he uses ranch dressing.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Initially I encountered Miracle Whip on broccoli, just a little dollop, served that way by someone I knew. I suppose it's poor man's hollandaise. Years later, when ranch dressing became popular, I switched to that. It only takes a teaspoon or so for a serving.

                                2. re: circustance

                                  Mayo mixed with soy sauce on broccoli.

                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                    Mayo on just about anything (non-sweet) sounds good to me!

                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                      Blech. I am a miracle whip girl.

                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                        I love them all - throw in Kewpie as well.

                                        http://www.thekitchn.com/what-is-kewp...

                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                          I see that in my local Asian markets. What is it like? More like Mao, m.w, or a whole new thing?

                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                            It's just a Japanese mayo brand, is all. Tasty, tho.

                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              Nope - Kewpie is a bit sweeter than mayo and the rice vinegar gives it a different sour. Its texture is creamier than typical mayo or Miracle Whip as well.

                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                Going to try it. It sounds good.

                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                  Tastes like mayo to me. Most mayo has an acidic flavor component. YMMV.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    Sure mayo has an acidic component, but most commercial brands use distilled white vinegar. Kewpie uses Japanese rice vinegar which is typically milder in flavor and acidity. Another ingredient that Japonifies Kewpie is MSG. That's a turnoff to many, but I'm fine with it...

                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                      But it's still just a brand of mayo -- regardless of its use of rice vinegar instead of white (wine) vinegar. I'm not sure I get your point here.

                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        I'm not sure I get yours - it tastes unlike conventional store-bought mayo and the texture is different - those are my points. Mayo is mayo, wine is wine, food is food?

                                                        >>YMMV<<

                                          2. re: suzigirl

                                            Love miracle whip too! Best tuna salad is made with 1/2 MW and 1/2 mayo...

                                      2. re: circustance

                                        I love mayonnaise on cold broccoli, but not on hot. Same with asparagus. I'll frequently cook a good bit more than we'll eat for supper just to have some cold for the next day's lunch.

                                        I hated peanut butter as a kid, but thawed to it by my mid-teens. At some point in my twenties, on a whim, I made a PB sandwich, laid some sharp cheddar on it, and grilled it. Heaven! Next time I was talking to my mom I told her about it. She gasped and said, "That was your father's favorite sandwich! I couldn't stand the smell, so he always had to cook his own."

                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                          As a kid, I **loved** PB & Miracle Whip sandwiches (on Wonder Bread). Sometimes my mom made them with a slice of American Cheese...even better!

                                          Now...not so sure!

                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                            We always loves peanut butter and cheese (sharp cheddar) at the neighbor's house yum!

                                          2. re: circustance

                                            I don't mind it in broccoli salad but I rarely eat that anyway.

                                          3. Haven't tried either of these myself but recently heard about 'em and have to admit I am intrigued:

                                            peanut butter hamburgers
                                            brussels sprout w/ mayonnaise and peanut butter

                                            also the peanut butter/mayo/lettuce sandwich sounds really strange to me, but I bet it's delicious. Another 'weird food pairing' I want to try soon.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: circustance

                                              Gefilte fish pizza. Ugh! I saw it in a restaurant recently...cannot imagine ordering it!

                                            2. How about garlic ice cream? I used to get that at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Quite good.

                                              One accidental weird combination I had recently was a sandwich I ordered which was supposed to be ham and watercress on pumpernickel. But they made it with gingerbread loaf, which I guess looked (but didn't taste) similar to pumpernickel.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: drongo

                                                There's a very garden-partyish cafe in San Marino, with a big catering kitchen/bakery attached, and one of their sandwiches - the best one, I think - is cold roasted lamb on their own rosemary-raisin bread. I'm not a big fan of fruit with meat as a rule, but this works very well.

                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                  try pork braised with prunes -- sounds weird, but the tastes marry extremely well.

                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    Braised pork and prunes does sound good. But I'm now a little wary of prunes -- I received an Emile Henry tagine (Moroccan cooking vessel) as a gift, and I tried it out with this recipe: www.emilehenryusa.com/recipe/Lamb-Tag... . The dish includes sauteed almonds and prunes. But I forgot to pit the prunes! And it turns out that almonds and prune pits are about the same size and shape -- but almonds are nice and crunchy whereas prune pits are tooth-shatteringly hard! Not good to have the two in the same dish...........

                                                  2. re: Will Owen

                                                    That sounds amazing!

                                                2. While I don't think it's strange now, and it's typically something you can find around most US military posts, we used to buy slices of kimchi pizza at the PX just because they were dirt cheap ($1 for 2 slices).

                                                  Most of the ladies working at the canteen were these cute little Koreans ladies, who always found ways to cram kimchi into everything on the menu. You either got used to it, or everyone behind the counter would give you a collective earful and the stink-eye for a week. IMO, they had a direct pipeline to a large kimchi factory outside of Seoul.

                                                  Kimchi strombolis and calzones, had them...
                                                  Philly Cheese steaks w/kimchi, they made them...
                                                  Ruebens with kimchi instead of sauerkraut, we ate em...

                                                  1. We went to this high end Italian restaurant in D.C. in 2005 and sadly I don't rember the name. Anyway, we had an amazing and very expensive chef's tasting menu with dessert being a tomato and basil sorbet. It was not in the usualy category for desserts, but it wasn't terrible. It had that tomato savoriness to it, but was really crisp and refershing.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: FoodChic

                                                      I could totally see that as a palate cleanser between courses...but it's still weird as a dessert.

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        (Forgive the typos in my post. I need to stop typing on the iPad.)

                                                        It was odd. My husband is a HUGE dessert fan, and was terribly let down. He liked it, but wanted something more substantial.

                                                    2. Horrible confession, but I used to go to my girlfriend's house on pizza night, and it was inevitably pepperoni which her mother served with applesauce and green salad. I developed a taste for dipping ONLY that sort of pizza into applesauce and then loading it with the salad. And that taste remains to this day - about once a year, I give in but I don't do it front of other people.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                        I like to mix in hot sauce into my peanut butter
                                                        I dip fries into ranch dressing..not too weird

                                                        1. re: mizzdee

                                                          Fries in ranch dressing is awesome. We like to say Texas will fry anything and dip it in ranch.

                                                          1. re: mizzdee

                                                            SE Asian peanut sauce is nothing w/o some heat and a little fish sauce

                                                            1. re: mizzdee

                                                              Hot sauce in peanut butter is awesome, mizzdee. If you thinned it with some coconut milk (well-stirred) and a dash of lime, and topped it with crushed peanuts, you'd have the BEST dipping sauce. By the same token, if you thinned it with strong chicken broth and some of that coconut milk, and slowly brought it to just under a boil - voila!! Peanut soup!!

                                                            2. re: mamachef

                                                              My ex poured thousand island salad dressing over his pizza
                                                              My mother smeared mayo onto nilla wafers

                                                              1. re: mizzdee

                                                                Your ex is not so weird, mizz - but your mom is. :: )