Weird food combinations are two ingredients that are virtually never seen together, but somehow, someone ate them together and discovered that they actually taste pretty good. These “odd couples” work well since their primary flavors and/or textures complement each other.
Watermelon and Yellow Mustard (sweet + tangy)
This refreshing fruit and basic condiment pairing went viral on TikTok in 2021.
Yes, you’ll often find watermelon and yellow mustard at your average summer picnic, but usually, watermelons are eaten alone in big slices. Or, if you’re fancy, they are served in a salad, grilled or skewered with feta and a balsamic glaze.
Yellow mustard, on the other hand, is pretty much only used as-is on hot dogs and hamburgers. It’s also commonly used as an ingredient in deviled eggs, potato salads and many other sauces and creams. But as a topping for fruit? It’s a recent widespread discovery that many have verified as a delicious combination.
More familiar sweet and tangy pairings include:
- honey and lemon
- ripe fruit and plain yogurt
- caramel and green apples
Carrots and Peanut Butter (crunchy + creamy)
This is a combination that you might expect to find in a kid’s lunchbox. Dad or mom was rushing to prepare lunch for school and instead of ranch, threw in some peanut butter with the baby carrots. Turns out, it’s not quite a mistake after all. The crisp, crunchy texture of the carrots are a great balance to the thick and creamy texture of the peanut butter.
More familiar crunchy and creamy pairings include:
- celery and peanut butter
- tortilla chips and nacho cheese
- crusty bread and brie
Cream Cheese and Jelly / Brie and Jam (creamy + sweet)
Yes, cheese and jam are both commonly found on crackers. However, cream cheese and brie, specifically, are not as commonly found with the fruity sweet spreads. By simply adding a layer of cream cheese/brie with jelly/ jam, the sandwich becomes elevated exponetially. The creaminess of the cheese adds richness to the otherwise fairly monotonous jelly or jam.
More familiar creamy and sweet pairings include:
- whipped cream and strawberries
- peanut butter and chocolate
- avocados and honey
Scrambled Eggs and Tempura Dipping Sauce (mild + savory)
This combination was discovered and shared in the fitness book for foodies, The Fittest Food Lovers. Since eggs are a relatively mild-flavored food, it works well with an accent flavoring. Many times hot sauce, salsa or ketchup is used to add flavor. However, tempura dipping sauce is less frequently used in western meals and provides a balanced umami flavor to the eggs.
More familiar mild and savory pairings include:
- French fries and ketchup
- crackers and pâté
- cauliflower and curry
Other uncommon and weird food combinations
If you scour the internet, you’ll likely come across one of these other odd food couples. We have compiled them in a master list for you to try for yourself.
- avocado and chocolate
- banana and bacon
- blueberries and steak
- cheddar cheese and apple pie
- chocolate and potato chips
- French fries and milkshake/ice cream
- goat cheese and ice cream
- olive oil and ice cream
- peanut butter and burger
- peanut butter and hummus
- peanut butter and mayo
- peanut butter and pickles
- peanut butter and sriracha
- pickles and ice cream
- potato chips and Nutella
- prosciouto and cantaloupe
- salami and grapes
- soy sauce and vanilla ice cream
- strawberries and sour cream
- watermelon (or most other sweet fruits) and salt
Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.