Contrary to what your parents told you when you were young, food is meant to be played with! Where would we be if we hadn’t discovered the incredible taste combination we received when we mixed chocolate and peanut butter together? Or when we realized sea salt and caramel could be blended with coffee to create a delicious, salty-sweet treat? Below are eight weird food combinations you may never have tried but that, according to those who swear by them, actually taste amazing!
1. Hot Chocolate and Cheese
It’s hard to imagine two foods more people love, but chocolate and cheese together?! Now that sounds weird. However, in Columbia, hot chocolate with cheese is a tradition and a delicacy that people in North America are only just starting to discover. The cheese used is called “queso compasigna,” meaning rustic cheese. The best translation you can find in US grocery stores would probably be a mild mozzarella or halloumi. Cook up a batch of hot chocolate and then add a cube of cheese on top. When it melts, you’ve got heaven in a cup.
2. Avocado and Chocolate
The concept of mixing these two disparate-seeming ingredients comes from the popularity of both and the ability to use avocado to make an otherwise decadent dessert—like chocolate mousse—into something considerably healthy. People absolutely love this combination, which often requires mixing equal parts of both ingredients together. The two flavors smooth and complement one another, rather than fighting for dominance as one would think.
3. Cheetos and Milk
What is slowly becoming a new—but somehow deeply disturbing—option for after-school meals is a combination of Cheetos and milk. Now, one can conceivably imagine eating Cheetos with milk, but many people are actually starting to enjoy the option of Cheetos in milk, like a cereal. This also led to the concept of Cheetos milk, which is the milk left over after the Cheetos are eaten. A Filipino website, Pepper, even offers a recipe one can make with the concoction: Cheetos milk fudge truffles.
4. Pickles and Ice Cream… or Bourbon… or Peanut Butter
Pickle-lovers are always trying to mix these tangy treats with everything under the sun, which may be why most of the weirdest food combinations have pickles in them. There are also dozens of pickle-flavored foods, such as chips, candies, even vodka! But why do people crave pickles to the point where they try to add them to every other food? It could be because your desire for pickles is actually an act of self-preservation: pickles are extremely acidic, which can help stomach issues and minimize bloating, and they have lots of sodium, which can help the body absorb water when dehydrated.
5. Peanut Butter and Hamburgers
Many people love putting condiments on their hamburgers—ketchup, mayo, mustard, sometimes all three! But have you ever thought of slathering a burger with melted peanut butter? The Wheel Inn restaurant located in Sedalia, Missouri, which first opened its doors in 1947, offered the Guberburger, which included a beef patty, lettuce, mayo, tomato, and peanut butter. Unfortunately, the Wheel Inn is now closed. Still, the idea of the Guberburger lives on, and you can find recipes for this savory meal online.
6. Cheddar Cheese and Apple Pie
If you’re from the South, you may balk at the idea, but Northerners prefer a slice of cheddar cheese melting on top of their apple pies. According to Southern Living, this practice could date back as far as Medieval times and was perhaps carried over from Europe to the US, eventually connecting the so-named dairy country (the Midwest) with the apple country (New England).
7. Coca Cola and Red Wine
What may sound unfathomable to Americans is the combination cocktail that has become a huge part of the indigenous Basque culture in Europe. There’s even a name for it: Kalimotxo. The legend goes that the cocktail was invented when servers at the 1972 Basque festival Puerto Viejo realized their wine had gone bad, so they mixed it with Coke to hide the taste. Now, people enjoy the drink all throughout Basque country—with lots of ice, of course.
8. Peanut Butter and Onion
Perhaps the truest test of can-you-handle-this-food-combo is the peanut butter and onion sandwich. Most people state that sweet onions should be used, as they are less abrasive than the tangier varieties. It’s unclear where this sandwich originated, but during the Great Depression, the Bureau of Home Economics reportedly created a recipe for peanut butter stuffed onions. This amounted to baking an onion and then spooning peanut butter into its crevices. If you’re looking for a reason to try it, Hemingway apparently loved this combo.
So, before consider yourself a daring eater, maybe try out a few of the above and let us know what you think.
By Julia Tilford, contributor for Ripleys.com