Food is a lot like relationships; sometimes the most unexpected, unexplainable combinations work together incredibly well — even if the rest of the world just can’t see it. I, myself, have been known to rock some food combos that would make others turn up their noses. But, you know, their loss. To wit:
Ketchup and almost anything. I love ketchup (not catsup, Heinz Ketchup). I love it on eggs, on steak, on rye bread (with or without the corned beef), on pasta, on cold Thanksgiving stuffing. I love it on hot dogs. B., who had always been a mustard guy as far as hot dogs go, looked at me quizzically the first time he saw me indulge in the combo. Intrigued, he tasted it — and he has never looked back. Ketchup on Dodger dogs for everyone.
Chocolate and potato chips. Any woman worth her PMS past or present can probably relate to this one. The combo of sweet and salty is unbelievably satisfying. But I prefer the purest form of this treat — plain potato chips nibbled alternately with pieces of Cadbury chocolate. Chocolate bars with potato chips mixed in or chocolate-covered potato chips are for amateurs.
Watermelon and balsamic vinegar. The vinegar brings out the sweetness of the watermelon; the melon brings out the rich tartness of the vinegar. Each component complements the other perfectly — who can ask for more in a relationship?
Romaine lettuce and Bolognese sauce. There’s something about those cold, crisp lettuce leaves topped with warm, hearty Bolognese that speaks to all kinds of cravings — crunchy, smooth, savory, sweet. Extra credit if you top it with a bit of homemade Thousand Island dressing. I know — it sounds odd (to be polite) to most people. But it works for me.
Hot chocolate and chili powder. This sophisticated twosome may not be for everyone. But if you’ve got even one adventurous taste bud, give it a try. Warning: this is not a kids’ cocoa-and-marshmallow concoction; this is an adults-only experience that will arouse your palate. Goodbye, sweet Swiss Miss. I’ll take Mayan spicy.
Some say that food is love. I think that in food, as in life, the best relationships are those with minimum heartbreak.
And minimum heartburn.
ⓒ 2018 Claudia Grossman