If you watched Sesame Street as a kid, you'll instantly recognize my opening line. Today, it's about food, of course.
I am a confirmed foodie. I love to cook, I love to eat, I watch food shows all the time, and I read cookbooks like novels. My collection has outgrown space after space over the years, and without counting, I'd guess I have somewhere in the neighborhood
of 1000 of them.
And in those cookbooks and on tv (and here on AR, too) there are many dishes that combine ingredients that I would never have thought to combine. Sometimes that sounds good, and sometimes there's no way they should ever co-mingle! : )
So ok, here goes my take on this topic...
Bacon. I'm thinking the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden could have been bacon. I can't think of anything else that seems to tempt people as much as bacon does. Salty, smoky, meaty, and even a little sweet, it's the stuff of dreams.
But there are places where bacon simply does not belong. Desserts? No way. I don't want to dip my spoon through crackling sugar on a creme brulee (one of my favorites) and bring up that first ethereal mouthful and find pieces of bacon in it. Chocolate?
Nope. Tried it in both milk (not really a fan of the milk chocolate) and in dark chocolate (LOVE dark chocolate). That combination just does not work for me. Vosges au Chocolat has a bacon pancake mix. I like pancakes. But again, no bacon pieces belong
in my pancakes. If I want bacon with them, I'll cook up a platter and serve it on the side. This appears to be a craze that will be around for some time, but I won't be jumping on that wagon any time soon. I've sprinkled bacon slices with a touch of brown
sugar and a black pepper/cayenne mix before and baked. That was pretty good as long as the sugar is held to just a few sprinkles; the spiciness of the cayenne helped. But I've seen recipes that call for a huge amount of brown sugar, and those cross the
line for me.
Chicken and waffles. I love fried chicken (I AM southern, after all!), and I like waffles, too. But I do NOT want my lovely piece of fried chicken dumped onto a waffle and covered in maple syrup. I seem to be in the minority on this one, but I'm sticking
to my guns on it.
Watermelon in savory dishes. I adore watermelon and eat probably my weight (no small feat, I assure you) in this fruit every summer. And I've seen many recipes for salads that include watermelon, and they sounded good. I've tried some...the watermelon
just does not belong in the salad for me. The combo is just plain wrong. Hey, maybe I should add some bacon! : )
For that matter, fresh fruit in any green salad just doesn't really work for me. I love salads, both veggie and fruit. But I want them separate. My only exception to that is using dried fruit in an autumn or winter green salad.
Cheese and apples. I know I'm probably in the minority here, but this is not a combination I can embrace. I've had apple pie with cheese in the crust and cheese melted on top of the crust. Yuck is all I can say about that. Strangely, there are some
fruits that I do like with cheese...grapes (makes sense..cheese and wine is a classic pairing) are a favorite. I can also do dried fruits. But for the most part, unless it's cream cheese, I don't want my fruit with it. My parents love pineapple and cheese
sandwiches. Another one I won't go near.
Peanut butter and mayo. I know people who eat this on a sandwich. This may be one of the most disgusting combinations I've tried so far. No way is mayo getting near my PB sandwich!
Back to bacon, my husband eats bacon on his PB sandwiches. I also do not like this combo. And my dad says peanut butter goes with everything. I'll have to disagree with them, but they can enjoy their creations and I'll leave them to that.
Ketchup and eggs. My husband's son likes this as do many other people I know. Again, no way for me. The ketchup totally overpowers the eggs, and the combination is way off for me.
Flour tortillas in enchiladas. I've seen some reviews lately regarding this, and I have to agree wholeheartedly. You must use corn tortillas!
A store here makes a greek salad (not the green kind) with cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, olives, and feta. It would be great except they use cumin in it. I am nowhere near an expert on Greek food, but I do have several cookbooks on the subject. Nowhere
in any of the recipes does cumin appear. So I'll add this to my list, too, based on that. I'm not really a fan of cumin but can take it in small doses in Mexican cuisine where the strong flavors balance out this very strong spice.
Rosemary in anything. If I want piney flavor, I'll go pick some pine needles and just add them to my dish. : ) Ok, this one is just a personal preference but I had to throw it in there.
Chocolate chips and pumpkin or sweet potato. I'm pretty sure I'll definitely be in the minority here, but I simply cannot stand chocolate chips in my pumpkin or sweet potato bread. My very sweet SIL keeps trying to get me to make a pumpkin bread recipe
with chocolate that she loves. I think she believes she might be able to convert me. : ) Not gonna happen on this one.
These are a sample of my culinary "do not's" list. Weigh in and tell me if you agree or disagree or what you consider no man's land as a combination.