Experimenting with flavours can lead to some inedible disasters, but sometimes it leads to a magical discovery that excites and pleases the tastebuds. While you’re probably familiar with famous pairings like sea salt and caramel, have you ever thought about combining avocado and coffee, or miso and apples? Expand your palate with these 10 flavour combos that shouldn’t work but do!
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Peanut Butter and Sriracha
Spicy, tangy sriracha and peanut butter might sound strange, but they form a winning combo. Mix them up for a dipping sauce, swap out the jam for sriracha on your next peanut butter sammy, or try this tempting Spicy Thai sandwich that adds crispy coconut shrimp to the flavour party.
Strawberry and Balsamic
Sweet, tangy and syrupy, balsamic vinegar — the pride of Modena, Italy — elevates the flavour of strawberries while adding a juicy, syrupy finish. Add balsamic-marinated berries to a salad or use them to top a creamy panna cotta.
Watermelon and Feta
Fresh, juicy watermelon and briny feta have gone from obscure combo to a must-try flavour pairing. Not sure how to serve them together? Try a sprinkling of the crumbly cheese over watermelon wedges, or add them to peppery arugula for a salad that will become a go-to for warm weather entertaining.
Miso and Apple
Miso isn’t just for soups and marinades. When baked with apples, it creates a slightly salty caramel flavour that balances the tartness of the fruit. Add some to your apple pie filling, or add it to a comforting apple crumble.
Related: Miso Oysters
Pineapple and Cheese
Pineapple and cottage cheese was a popular combo in the heyday of 1980s salad bars, so it’s no surprise that the golden, luscious fruit pairs well with all kinds of cheese. Add pineapple to baked Brie, or combine it with grilled halloumi in a salad of mixed greens. It will hit your taste buds with the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
Chocolate and Fish
Perhaps one of the strangest sounding combinations out there, chocolate or cocoa and fish are actually delicious together. Dust some cocoa powder on tuna to add a slight earthiness. Make a white chocolate, dill and lemon sauce to serve over salmon. Or try this cocoa rub on catfish fillets for a luxurious main dish.
Kimchi and Cheese
Kimchi and ooey, gooey melted cheese might sound like a strange flavour pairing, but it’s one you have to try. The slightly sour and salty condiment adds a kick to milder cheeses like mozzarella or Havarti. Try them together in a grilled cheese sandwich, or this Korean twist on a Canadian classic — poutine!
Related: Smoked Bone Marrow Poutine
Chocolate and Cayenne
There are so many ways to enjoy a flavour pairing like chocolate and cayenne, from truffles to brownies, but one of the most beloved celebrations of the duo is hot chocolate. For a grown up beverage that will warm you up on a cold day, go for this spicy, tequila-spiked dark chocolate drink.
Related: Hot Cocoa Buns
Potato Chips and Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
You can’t go wrong with a sweet and salty pairing, especially plain potato chips and chocolate sandwich cookies. Not sure how to marry the two together? It could be something as simple as sprinkling cookie crumbs on your salted chips, or adding both to this highly snackable crispy rice square recipe.
Related: Chocolate Brownie Sandwich Cookies With White Chocolate Ganache and Strawberry Preserves
Scallion Pancakes and Shawarma
Two popular street foods from different parts of the world combine to create the ultimate menu mashup. Chewy green onion pancakes take the place of pita bread, holding all of that tender, seasoned beef goodness.