It’s no doubt everyone here in the whole Spooniverse loves food. But loving food doesn’t necessarily translate into being a culinary connoisseur in the kitchen, or a master pâtissiere at that. Much of cooking comes not only from the quality of ingredients you use, but also from the combination of different foods used to form a concoction that tastes amazing (or perhaps not). For example, fried chicken tastes really good. In a salad? Sure. But fried chicken in chocolate ice cream? Eh, I think I’ll pass.
The good news is, it doesn’t take much to seem like a pro in the kitchen. As the saying “fake it ’til you make it” goes, you can whip up awesome desserts in no time as long as you pair your ingredients well. Use these interesting food combinations as a reference, and you’ll feel like a star chef in no time.
1. Dark Chocolate and Parmesan
Ever been feeling a dessert grilled cheese? Dark chocolate and parmesan harmoniously blends in a bout of bittersweet, albeit tangy goodness. If you’re up for the challenge, try this recipe for a to-die-for grilled cheese that will have your friends wondering if you actually went to culinary school.
2. Ice Cream and Olive Oil
Just the thought of eating plain olive oil makes most people want to gag. But the combination of a good quality vanilla bean ice cream, olive oil, and even some sea salt can elevate your ice cream experience to new heights.
Not ready for this type of excursion? Make a few foods with olive oil as a main flavor, like this lemon olive oil cake or add it to ricotta for an exciting spin on some fancy cheese. We promise you’ll be itching to try this ice cream after.
3. Strawberries, Sour Cream, and Brown Sugar
Forget the whole chocolate-covered strawberry fad. Strawberries dipped in sour cream and rolled in a brown sugar is the new trend. Not only are these gems innovative, but they are also easy to make and inexpensive, making them a go-to menu item when serving large groups of people. Plus they are strawberries, so they have to be healthy, right?
4. Chocolate and Chili
Maybe you’ve heard of famous chefs secretly adding chocolate to their pasta sauces, chilis, and hot sauces, but it’s actually a common practice in other parts of the world. The chocolate helps balance out the chili in any food, so if you’re looking to add a bit of savoriness to your next spicy endeavor, chocolate is the way to go. Try making this chili chocolate bar if you want to test it out yourself.
5. Bacon and Maple Syrup
Do I really need to elaborate on this? Everyone knows a breakfast of champions can’t be complete without pancakes and bacon, which ultimately results in the bacon getting drenched in maple syrup. I mean, they even make maple syrup-flavored bacon nowadays, so how can this combination not taste good?
And it’s not just for breakfast; you can incorporate this combination into doughnuts, cupcakes, even chocolate dipped roses. Nothing will surprise your loved one more than one of those roses, that’s for sure.
6. Peanut Butter and Curry
While peanut butter may be found in many desserts, curry definitely isn’t. If you look online, there are plenty of savory recipes the use these two ingredients, but there’s nothing quite like what Humphry Slocombe serves up.
The ice cream haven located in San Fransisco boasts a variety of weird flavors on their menu (like Jalapeño cornbread, for one), but peanut butter curry takes the cake. If you happen to be in the area, or are feeling crafty and want to make this concoction yourself, we suggest you stocking up on it because it’s pretty addictive.
7. Pineapple and Cheese
Ah, this versatile flavor combination has me dreaming of pound cakes, ice creams, cheese cakes, and Hawaiian pizza. Pineapple and cheese just go together for some reason. Don’t believe me? Make a pineapple grilled cheese or even these pineapple cheesecake bars. You’re welcome.
8. Coffee and Lemon
No, this isn’t some detox weight loss drink, it’s actually a new drink that’s taking the world by storm. Cafes all over the world are introducing this new type of coffee lemonade, a perfect drink to sip on any hot summer day. Even Lavazza has a lemon cappuccino recipe now. If you truly want to impress your friends (and maybe even yourself), brew some of this and take it to your next bonfire.
#SpoonTip: If you’re not a coffee drinker, try drinking lemon water in the mornings instead.
Clearly there are more fail-proof food combinations out there that deserve the limelight, especially in the realm of desserts, but these should start you off pretty strong. Cooking can be a lot easier and much more enjoyable if you choose the right types of ingredients and pair them accordingly.
I’m not saying you can turn into a renowned chef overnight just by squeezing some syrup onto your bacon, but hey, it’s a start to that chef stardom we all fantasize about.