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xoxoxoBruce 11-25-2008 10:53 AM

Strange combinations
Top 10 Unusual Food Combinations

10. Carrots and Sugar
While it may seem strange to add sugar to vegetables, it is a very common method of preparing carrots in France. The technical term for this dish is Vichy Carrots, in which you combine Carrots, Salt, Pepper, sugar, and Vichy water (a sparkling water from the Vichy region) and cook them down until the carrots are glazed. The sugar heightens the flavor of the carrots and the end result is a stunning dish of brilliantly orange vegetables.

9. Coffee and Salt
Add a touch of salt to coffee to heighten the flavor - this is a very common use of salt as it is used in virtually all dishes (including sweet dishes served for pudding). Just a pinch is enough to make a brilliant espresso.

8. Tomatoes and Sugar
Use sugar, not salt. Tomatoes are already acidic and the addition of salt just increases that acidic flavor. Sugar sweetens and increases the tomato flavor. Tomatoes are fruits after all.

7. Chocolate and Coffee
When baking with chocolate, add a little coffee - it strengthens the chocolate flavor without adding a strong coffee flavor.

6. Meat and Aniseed
When stewing meat, throw in a star anise - you can’t taste the aniseed but the flavor adds a deep richness to the meat. This is a trick used in all meat dishes by Heston Blumenthal the owner of the Fat Duck (3 Michelin stars) - voted the world’s best restaurant for three years in a row.

5. Cooking tomatoes and Foliage
Throw in a tomato branch - the branch contains all of the flavor that we love in tomatoes - pick a leaf and smell it and you will see what I mean. Simply throw in a small stick of the tomato plant and it will give your cooked tomatoes a much stronger tomato flavor.

4. Potatoes and Nutmeg
Add nutmeg - just a little - it adds a depth to the potatoes that people won’t recognize, but will definitely like. This is true of virtually every potato dish.

3. Chili and Chocolate
Add chocolate to chili. It deepens the meaty flavor of the chili while giving a strong base note to the peppers. This is a trick well known in the South where Chili bake-offs are common.

2. Apples and Vanilla
Apples are very acidic and normally require some sugar in their cooking. Most people add nutmeg or cinnamon to their apple dishes, but vanilla extract adds a deep layer of flavor that most people won’t recognize but will certainly appreciate.

1. Strawberries and Pepper
Strawberries (fresh) are usually served with a sprinkling of confectioners sugar, but the addition of very finely ground pepper (from fresh corns) heightens the flavor.

Juniper 11-25-2008 11:53 AM

I make carrots and sugar all the time. DH prefers them with honey glaze, but I like a touch of brown sugar.

Chili and chocolate -- that's OK but I like cinnamon in mine.

wolf 11-25-2008 11:59 AM

Lindt makes a Chili Dark Chocolate Bar that is magnificent. The chilis add a bit of bite, but don't overpower the chocolate flavor. (Not all of the Chili-Chocolate bars are that good ... some are too gritty.)

lumberjim 11-25-2008 12:03 PM

thanks, bruce. that is knowledge. and knowledge is power. now ....I am more powerful.

glatt 11-25-2008 12:04 PM

but you used time to read it, and time is money. Money is power. So you lost power reading it.

lumberjim 11-25-2008 12:04 PM


Flint 11-25-2008 12:10 PM

It might have been a wash, who knows?

It depends on the information density.

Shawnee123 11-25-2008 12:30 PM

Fresh homemade still-hot yeast doughnuts rolled in sugar, and beer. I kid you not.

Cloud 11-25-2008 01:08 PM

many of those combos are well known; carrots and sugar, chili and chocolate, and chocolate and coffee--come on! that's classic.

I'm going to try the nutmeg in potatoes thing.

classicman 11-25-2008 01:13 PM


Loukianos 11-25-2008 01:13 PM

I could go for pretty much all of those (especially chocolate and chili!!! Habenero hot chocolate is my favourite)...but isn't tomato foliage mildly toxic?

Radar 11-25-2008 01:27 PM

My grandmother once made me a peanut butter and mayo sandwich, and while it sounds horrifyingly disgusting, I was shocked that it was pretty good. They used to also get bread, spread butter on it, and sprinkle sugar on it.

classicman 11-25-2008 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by Radar (Post 508156)
My grandmother once made me a peanut butter and mayo sandwich, and while it sounds horrifyingly disgusting, I was shocked that it was pretty good.

so thats what happened.

jinx 11-25-2008 01:37 PM

They forgot the vodka with the strawberries and pepper.


but isn't tomato foliage mildly toxic?
Yes, they are members of the nightshade family and contain glycoalkloids... or something. It's didn't say to eat the stick though, just to add it to cooking tomatoes.
You're not supposed to eat green tomatoes for the same reason, but lots of people do and seem to live thru it.

Radar 11-25-2008 01:40 PM


Originally Posted by classicman (Post 508158)
so thats what happened.

I ate it, and later I shared this combo with my wife's cousin. He likes it too.

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