24 Food Pairings That Shouldn’t Go Together but Totally Do

Hello and welcome to this thing we’re doing where we help you figure out what you’re gonna put in your mouth this week. Some of these are recipes we’ve tried, some of these are recipes we’re looking forward to trying, all of them are fucking delicious. Tell us what you want to put in your piehole or suggest your own recipes, and we’ll talk about which things we made, which things we loved, and which things have changed us irreversibly as people. Last week, we put fruit in our faces.


The food world is full of classic pairings: peanut butter and jelly, garlic and onions, tomatoes and cheese, macaroni and cheese, eggs and cheese, pretty much anything else and cheese. But sometimes the joy in the kitchen comes when you take two things that don’t sound like they go together, mix them up and put them on a plate. (If you don’t believe me, you’ve never watched Chopped, and we are no longer friends.) It shouldn’t work, but to your tastebuds’ amazement, it does. Voila! You’ve created a masterpiece, and when someone asks you for the old family recipe that inspired you, you can proudly say: There was none. I’m just a culinary genius. (I won’t tell them you really got the recipe from me.)

1. Pineapple and Maple Syrup: Fruit Salad with Mint and Maple Syrup

2. Blueberry and Ginger: Blueberry-Ginger Double-Crust Pie

3. Blood Orange and Red Onion Salad

4. Peach and Tomato Salad

5. Gingered Pears and Parsnips

6. Zucchini Cobbler Bars

7. Chocolate Fettuccine with Mascarpone and Lemon

8. Maple Bacon Donuts

9. Peanut Butter and Curry Ice Cream

10. Coconut Oil Egg Scramble

11. Dark Chocolate and Beet Brownies

12. Grilled Banana Ketchup

13. Dark Chocolate Grilled Cheese

14. Watermelon with Sea Salt, Black Peppercorn and Basil

15. Jalapeño, Strawberry and Basil Jam

16. Coffee Avocado Milkshake

17. Olive Oil Gelato

via Saveur

via Saveur

18. Parmesan-Lime Zucchini

via Babble

via Babble

19. Strawberry Balsamic Pie

20. Spicy Cauliflower Popcorn

21. Grapefruit Rounds with Halloumi Cheese

22. Apricot-Basil Creme Galette

23. Melted Hot Chocolate with Sea Salt Whipped Cream

24. Salty Sesame and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Kaitlyn lives in New York, which is the simplest answer you're going to get if you ask her where she's from. She went to journalism school and is arguably making the most of her degree as a writer and copy editor. She utilizes her monthly cable bill by watching more competitive cooking shows than should be allowed.

Kaitlyn has written 69 articles for us.


  1. Ok here here are two for you that I swear by, Kimchi and peanut butter sandwhiches which is a spicy creamy crunchy delight and pB, banana and saurkraut sandwhiches (think vegan reuban)!

  2. I’ve been having #7 (more accurately a variant of it) since I was little, it’s a fairly common thing in Hungary to put sugar and cocoa on noodles. Same with jam on noodles, or my personal favourite: sauteed thinly shredded cabbage on noodles with sugar and black pepper.

    Also watermelon with bread.

    I love getting creative in the kitchen, and habe come up with some fantastic and unusual combinations too, like mushrooms sauteed with absinthe (specifically La Clandestine from Switzerland) and mint. Many I end up forgetting though because I never write down what I do…

  3. This is a formal invitation to anybody who wants to come to my apartment and make one/all of these recipes.

  4. This was great! Looking forward to dark chocolate + beets!

    My forever favourite is: Gingerbread cookies + blue cheese. Mind Blown.

  5. I am extremely interested in chocolate grilled cheese as a concept and wish to subscribe to its newsletter.

    I have an unhealthy obsession with the show… Like how the hell do you make up a new recipe with random ingredients and make it in 30 minutes? I’ve actually done a few at-home chopped competitions against my little brother. We’re both pretty mediocre at cooking (I need a recipe to make anything; my bro is only 10). Needless to say, the dishes we made weren’t fantastic, haha. Although I was -close- to making an actually good meal that involved steamed carrots and rasberries. They go together pretty well! If only I didn’t undercook the carrots.

    Anyways thank you for this lovely food post! The recipe that caught my eye was those chocolate-chip sesame cookies. Seedy things just make me happy.

  7. You would get a kick out of Masterchef AU:

    :: Curry Leaf and Lime Parfait: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/curry-leaf-and-lime-parfait (with cucumbers, chilli, caramel)

    :: Apple Terrine with Honey Rosemary Ice-cream, Bacon Pecan Crumble: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/apple-terrine-with-honey-rosemary-ice-cream-bacon-pecan-crumble

    :: Olive Oil and Fetta Ice cream with Orange Butter Cake: http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/olive-oil-and-fetta-ice-cream-with-orange-butter-cake

    :: Dill and Rhubarb Spider (ice cream float/ice cream soda for Americans): http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/dill-and-rhubarb-spider (Dill ice cream with roast rhubarb, apple granita, pistachio praline, rhubarb and raspberry mousse, rhubarb and raspberry fizz, sparkling white wine).

  8. A lot of these look delicious!

    Locally, the more interesting combinations I can think of is probably coffee pork ribs and sliced fish noodles soup (the soup is milky, made with a combination of fish stock or actual bones, water, oil, yam, and milk.)

    Sometimes at night when fixing my instant noodles supper, I add a slice of cheese if I’m having the spicy kimchi noodles; it’s really delicious! (The cheese also helps with the spice if you’re not into spicy food.)

    There was also a craze in taiwan to put puddings in instant noodles. I haven’t tried it personally but it does look pretty interesting?

  9. I think I have really weird ideas about what foods go together because none of these seem that strange to me. They all look delicious!

  10. Jalapeno strawberry jam and peanut butter curry in particular sound fucking amazing and i want them in my mouth immediately. Especially that ice cream. Curry runs in my veins.

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