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Foods Together: My Way or the Highway

sandylc Apr 25, 2013 03:35 PM

Some people evidently feel that certain foods MUST be eaten together ALL OF THE TIME. My parents are a great example of this. Chili HAS to be eaten with saltines (called soda crackers by them), ham and beans MUST be consumed with cornbread, and eggs CANNOT be consumed unless toast is present. "Mom, are you going to have eggs for breakfast tomorrow?" "I CAN'T!" "Why not?" "I'm out of bread!"

For just a few examples.

I once served chili with cornbread to my parents. I think they came close to having me arrested! It was so funny; they were incredulous that I would do such a thing.

I happen to like variety; I don't think I've served two exactly the same meals in my entire life!

Anyone else out there have this type of quirk?

  1. fldhkybnva Apr 27, 2013 12:52 AM

    I realized I do this with condiments. I have a host of hot sauces and they each have a food they go with and don't cross over - Crystal for eggs, Texas Pete for fried chicken, Frank's ground meat, etc.

    1. a
      awest1982 Apr 26, 2013 11:28 PM

      My "culinary complusions" are only food/bev related...

      Pizza and Pepsi. Not Coke. For gawd's sake.
      In N Out burgers with Coke. Not Pepsi.
      Any food I'm served whilst in in Kentucky and bourbon. Clearly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: awest1982
        cosmogrrl Apr 26, 2013 11:43 PM

        I can agree with the bourbon part wholeheartedly. Although I have never been to Kentucky.

      2. KarenDW Apr 26, 2013 10:56 PM

        DH has bread with every dinner, including Chinese noodle soup. Sigh.

        2 Replies
        1. re: KarenDW
          Chemicalkinetics Apr 26, 2013 11:06 PM

          That is because you gave him too little noodle, and he was hungry.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            Perilagu Khan Apr 27, 2013 07:10 AM

            That's right. We men have needs, too. And lots of noodle is one of them.

        2. l
          littlemissmuffin Apr 26, 2013 08:19 PM

          My mother had just one food pairing rule: everything MUST be eaten with potatoes! And I do mean everything - she served baked potatoes with lasagna.

          3 Replies
          1. re: littlemissmuffin
            Chemicalkinetics Apr 26, 2013 08:24 PM

            At least she didn't serve potatoes with Chinese stir fry or chicken tandoori.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              littlemissmuffin Apr 26, 2013 09:05 PM

              She would have, if she had ever heard of them. My dad did not like "foreign" food, but once in a while she would make tacos for my brother and she served fried potatoes with them.

              1. re: littlemissmuffin
                Dirtywextraolives Apr 26, 2013 09:05 PM

                Hahaha! I love it!

          2. d
            Dirtywextraolives Apr 26, 2013 04:35 PM

            My mom always served her chili on white bread or white rice....that was before the advent of corn & tortilla chips.....
            And corned beef was always boiled with potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Other than that, my Mom was a pretty hip cook for a woman with three kids and worked full time.

            For my kids, they'll be saying they had to have Kraft mac & cheese with their fish sticks, and bacon kimchi fried rice with their bul gogi. Cuz that's how I roll....

            1. natewrites Apr 26, 2013 11:20 AM

              When I was a kid, sauerkraut and sausage HAD to be consumed with saltines and ketchup. Weird, and off the charts sodium-wise, but that's how I rolled.

              Hmmmm, nowadays? Maybe wine with cheese, lol!

              1. b
                BuildingMyBento Apr 26, 2013 11:17 AM

                Sure; in-flight meals in China and a rubbish bin. That's really it for me. Otherwise, I regularly combine cuisines and foods on a plate.

                1. f
                  foodieX2 Apr 26, 2013 08:29 AM

                  I don't really have any mandatory food pairing but have lots of condiment pairings where if the condiment was not available I would prefer to not eat the “main”.

                  Steamed lobster with drawn butter
                  Boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce
                  Popcorn with salt and butter
                  Ore Ida steak fries with catsup

                  Then there are things I prefer to eat with another food but not having it wouldn’t be a deal breaker or would stop me eating it

                  Chili with cornbread
                  Roast lamb with mint jelly
                  Pork loin/chops with apple sauce
                  Tortilla chips with guacamole
                  Roast turkey with cranberry sauce
                  Hamburger with french fries
                  Gin with tonic
                  Vodka with seltzer and roses

                  I am sure there are others I am not thinking of but like I said it wouldn’t stop me from eating

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: foodieX2
                    EM23 Apr 26, 2013 04:12 PM

                    Can you expand on the vodka w/ seltzer and roses, please?

                    1. re: EM23
                      foodieX2 Apr 26, 2013 06:20 PM

                      I prefer my vodka on the rocks with seltzer and a tiny splash of roses lime juice. The seltzer adds some bubbles and the roses a hint of tart with sweet. Heaven!

                      1. re: foodieX2
                        sandylc Apr 26, 2013 08:19 PM

                        Have you tried it with fresh lime?

                        1. re: sandylc
                          foodieX2 Apr 27, 2013 04:55 AM

                          is that a serious question??

                        2. re: foodieX2
                          EM23 Apr 27, 2013 08:24 AM

                          Never heard of Rose's. Vodka and seltzer with lime is my regular sup, and I was just thinking of adding a touch of simple syrup to it the other day. I may give it a try tonight.

                          1. re: EM23
                            foodieX2 Apr 27, 2013 08:29 AM

                            Yes, fresh lime and simple syrup works too but Roses has a distinct flavor. I only use the *tiniest" splash but love the pale green color and the bit of sweet and lime. Too much though and too sweet for me. Wonderful summer drink!

                            If you try it report back what you think!

                            1. re: foodieX2
                              EM23 Apr 27, 2013 08:31 AM

                              I'll do my homework:)

                    2. w
                      Wawsanham Apr 26, 2013 08:16 AM

                      My grandparents said: white asparagus MUST be served with ham chopped into small cubes. Other than that, they were a bit more flexible.

                      1. Perilagu Khan Apr 26, 2013 08:09 AM

                        If I'm having sardines, they must be on crackers.

                        Fried catfish mush be accompanied by hush puppies.
                        BBQ must be accompanied by one of the following: tater salad, pinto beans, cole slaw.

                        White wine with Indian food.

                        Zinfandel with steak.

                        A brawling, rough-hewn red with pizza or pasta/red sauce.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                          tcamp Apr 26, 2013 08:58 AM

                          Yes to crackers and sardines but for indian, BEER!!

                          1. re: tcamp
                            Perilagu Khan Apr 26, 2013 09:51 AM

                            I could dig that. But for me a cool glass of slightly acidic white is salubrious and palate cleansing. It also puts out the fire like nothing else. ;)

                        2. Chemicalkinetics Apr 25, 2013 08:48 PM

                          Despite the fact that I care about foods quiet a bit (I like to think so), I am very relax in term of food pairing compared to others too. Kind of odd if you think about it.

                          Anyway, I do know certain ingredients are viewed to be important or essential, so I think these will fit your bill. For example, many people believe butter and lobster must go together, while many Chinese believe garlic and lobster go together. For me, I really like oyster sauce with Chinese broccoli. Not always, but more than 90% of the time.


                          I also think barbecue pork should be consumed with sweet tea (although sweet tea does not have to be consumed with barbecue).

                          I think I can go on and on, but I am not sure if I am actually answering your question.

                          1. ipsedixit Apr 25, 2013 08:39 PM

                            Canned oysters must be eaten as part of an omelet.

                            1. fldhkybnva Apr 25, 2013 07:54 PM

                              I love this topic! I think I do this sometimes but nothing as extreme. For example, whenever I have chili I seek out cornbread. I don't have to have it and can eat them separately and would if I were served them separately. I have definitely had cornbread with BBQ which didn't include chili but I always seem to only think about it at home when I have chili. Other than that, nothing in particular but am interested in other responses to this question.

                              My mother is not as extreme but we will discuss cooking and I'll mention something like oh I like asparagus with parmesan and she'll respond "oh no I don't have parmesan" and think it's ludicrous when I mention that she can toss any cheese she likes on there with the assurance "if you like it, it's fine." She will stand with mouth wide open in aghast that you could do that...

                              1. s
                                Sherri Apr 25, 2013 04:39 PM

                                Growing up, my mother always, and I mean always, served applesauce with pork chops. I thought there was a law mandating this combination. This is the only obligatory pairing that I remember.

                                When I was beginning to have some kitchen curiosity, I asked about putting bacon strips over the breast of a roasting chicken, explaining that it would 'self-baste' and add flavor. Her answer was that "they don't go together".

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Sherri
                                  kcshigekawa Apr 25, 2013 04:56 PM

                                  Did we have the same mother, Sherri? Did yours spice the applesauce? Mine put ground cinnamon and clove, and heated it up.

                                  Baked chicken,( glass baking dish filled halfway up the chicken with a combo of cheap dry sherry, a chicken cube and a cup of water). Always served with frozen broccoli and brown rice, boiled in lots of water, then drained. The clear chicken juice was really good on the rice.

                                  The first time I made chili for my parents (my mother never made it), my dad asked where the saltines were!

                                  Clam chowder had to have buttered Pilot crackers, heated in the oven.

                                  B&M canned baked beans and B&M canned brown bread always with coleslaw.

                                  Ham always had cornbread (Jiffy).

                                  1. re: Sherri
                                    sandylc Apr 25, 2013 05:11 PM

                                    Oh, always cooked apples or applesauce with pork chops.

                                    And, oh yeah, the phrase "they don't go together"......

                                    My mom says that all the time about perfectly normal dishes that she has never tried.

                                    1. re: Sherri
                                      pinehurst Apr 26, 2013 09:36 AM

                                      My mom too re the applesauce/pork chops.

                                      1. re: pinehurst
                                        kmcarr Apr 26, 2013 06:23 PM

                                        I blame Peter Brady for this pairing.

                                        1. re: kmcarr
                                          SimonSaysWoof Apr 27, 2013 06:04 AM

                                          Exactly what I was thinking.

                                    2. w
                                      wadejay26 Apr 25, 2013 03:50 PM

                                      Since I use crackers as my spoon to eat chili, I would have had you run out and get me crackers. I do love me some cornbread on the side though.

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