Who first thought of combining these foods? Kudos to the chefs who thought these food combos would work, and were brave enough to try them!
1. Red Grapes and Pimento Stuffed Olives
Chef Alex Harrell likes combining the sweet and salty flavors of red grapes and pimento stuffed olives. He says the flavors are even better if the olives are at room temperature and the grapes are cold.
2. Corn on the Cob and Cream Cheese
Executive Chef Justin Cucci, owner of Edible Beats Restaurant Group, loves the taste of Philly cream cheese slathered all over his corn on the cob. He loves it because it’s tangy and creamy – like creamed corn with all the texture of regular corn.
3. Marshmallows and Popcorn
Sweet and salty food combos often work, and this movie snack is no exception. Chef Shawn Burnette, of Brooklyn, has been a fan of this dish since he was a child.
4. Chocolate and Tuna
Ye Gods! This sounds like it really shouldn’t work together, but according to Celebrity Chef Frankie Terzoli, this is a go-to weird food combination. He coats fresh tuna in powdered dark chocolate with chili sauce, vinegar, and smoked salt to balance out the flavors.
5. Fruit and Cactus
Don’t worry; there aren’t any stray cactus spines in Tropical Smoothie Café’s new Citrus Cactus Smoothie. It’s a blend of fresh cactus, orange, mango, apple, pineapple, and fresh lime juice. Fresh cactus is apparently an extremely rare ingredient, so you may want to try it before supplies run out.
6. Candied Bacon and Pickles
This is a famous combo at Tavern62 by David Burke. He coats the bacon with maple and black pepper, and it’s served with pickles and a lime.
7. Chocolate and Avocado
You can’t go wrong with the combination of two of our favorite foods. Food blogger and private chef Leigh Anderson has combined the two ingredients to make delicious cookies.
8. Eggplants and Bananas
Banana helps to balance out the bitterness in the eggplant, according to chef Scott Walton, of Acorn in Pittsburgh. You can cook the two ingredients down together for a caponata, or just place sliced eggplant and banana on a grilled baguette. Pair with a salad of mixed greens tossed with lime and Thai basil.
9. Balsamic Vinegar and Vanilla Ice Cream
This combo is perfect for those who love sweet and savory flavors together. Master Chef for Colavita, Ken Arnone loves to make this unique dish for many of his clients.
10. Coffee Grinds and Bacon
This may sound gross, but Nate Park, Star Chef at JUST, loves to coat bacon strips in coffee grinds before he fries them. He claims it’s an aroma-rich, elevated twist on a breakfast classic.
11. Champagne and Watermelon
This combo is great on a hot summer’s day. Corporate Chef Daniel England recommends cutting the watermelon into large triangles, and laying them flat on a baking tray. He then suggests submerging the triangles in your favorite champagne. Let the slices soak up the flavor for 24 hours, then add some chopped mint.
12. Beets and Dark Chocolate
This is a great combination, with the earthy flavor of the beets highlighting the sweetness of the chocolate. Try pairing a rich, dark chocolate with beet sorbet.
13. Pears and Blue Cheese
This combo is a favorite of Claudia Sidoti, Head Chef at Hello Fresh. The sweetness of the pear balances the robustness of the cheese, and each brings out the best flavors of both ingredients.
14. Oranges and Chili Flakes
Try sprinkling orange halves with different types of chili flakes, such as Urfa chili flakes or silk chili flakes. The taste is sweet, sour, salty, and spicy in each bite.
15. Fried Chicken and Champagne
Classy champagne, meet greasy fried chicken! This shouldn’t work, but it does. The combination of buttermilk fried chicken and fizzy champagne are a southern staple. The acidity and bubbles in the champagne keep your palate crisp to enjoy the salty and savory chicken.