Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


What goes with what, and what doesn't.

A few weeks ago, Lucette posted a list of What Goes With What and What Doesn't in between writing a novel (a task which requires much fortification). Here's my version:

What goes with what.
1. Curry and eggs. The curried egg and lettuce sandwich is the king of sandwiches. Curry and eggs also meet in kedgeree, gado gado, nasi goreng and an actual egg curry itself.

2. Potatoes and sour cream. A potato, baked in a fire until blackened, then cracked open and loaded with sour cream and showered with salt is a truly beautiful thing.

3. Soy and wasabi. Wasabi-joyu. Sublime with raw fish.

4. Snails and garlic. I would probably never eat snails without garlic. I do however, frequently eat garlic without snails.

5. Butter and vegemite. Who, as a child, didn't love the combination of butter and vegemite in RyVitas, or any cracker that has holes? Butter and vegemite them generously and then press them together and the combined butter and vegemite comes out the holes in little curls. Salty and delicious.

(Speaking of butter: why is it now the default position for sandwich hands to omit butter when making a sandwich unless specifically requested? Instead of saying 'A cheese and salad sandwich, please. Hold the onions' you now have to say 'A butter, cheese and salad sandwich please. Hold the onions'. It's getting to be like ordering a coffee which now has about eighty-five different options. This is madness. All that extra talking is contributing to global warming.)

And what doesn't.
1. Chicken and apricots. My late father-in-law used to reject relatives' offerings of the signature 1980s meal of chicken cooked with apricots. He would sit there at the table with his scotch glass and epigram grumpily: 'If I'm going to eat fruit, I'll eat it with dessert,' then take a draught of scotch and slam the glass down on the table for punctuation. He got away with it because he was a lovable Scottish midget with a cheeky eye and a sense of humour.

2. Chocolate and mint. I lived through the seventies when dinner parties ended with little brown paper squares on your coffee saucer containing a thin white substance that tasted like toothpaste encased in chocolate. It was like finishing your dinner and cleaning your teeth at the same time.

3. Ham and pineapple. What is it with people ordering ham and pineapple pizza?

4. Maple syrup and bacon. Just wrong.

5. Tomato sauce and chips. Salt and vinegar, please: sauce is for meat. (The Belgians put mayonnaise on their chips. Just as bad.)

So. What works for you?

And what doesn't?


Dr. Alice said...

Chocolate and mint: You are so right. Hate that combination, and the little foil-wrapped chocolates that used to be served after dinner in "fancy" restaurants when i was a kid. (The brand around here was 'Andes'.)

Bacon and maple syrup: You are SO WRONG. I love, *love* to dunk my bacon in maple syrup. Maybe you have to grow up with it that way.

P.S. I loved the previous post about writers and what they need to eat for sustenance. Somebody should write a cookbook for writers and computer programmers.

...or not: it would probably wind up consisting of multiple arguments among writers/programmers about their favorite junk food.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I might be OK with chicken and apricots but I've always hated (yes really hated) chocolate and mint, pineapple and ham, maple syrup and bacon! All just wrong.
What goes together - peanut butter and mayo, blueberries and cream, bread and butter.

Red dirt mummy said...

I'm with you on all of them except the chips and sauce. They aren't an everyday 'together' but they sure are good. I am so pleased to discover I'm not on my own in my hatred of chicken and apricots.

More 'togethers':
champagne and strawbs
strawbs and cream
peanut butter and chocolate
peanut butter and apple (a slice of apple dunked in the PB jar - yum!)

Terry Oglesby said...

It's been years since I actually had one, but everyone else's comments reminded me of one of my childhood favorites--the peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Hard to beat.

Anonymous said...

from Steevil

In Baltimore they put meat gravy on chips.

I kind of like maple and bacon, but then I'm married to a New Englander, and up there you can't get away from maple syrup.

Ham and pineapple pizza is the only bad thing I can think of resulting from Hawaii being part of the US. Actually, Spam and pineapple would be more authentic.

Carmen in Canada said...

I totally agree with the 'chips and tomatoe sauce' being completely offensive food item! I LOVE salt and vinegar on my chips (fries...whatever). But then again, that may be my English roots showing! Also... I know this sounds wierd, but a peanut butter and lettuce (ice-berg lettuce) sandwich is great! (Think of it being sort of like having celery sticks and peanut butter together.....Also, toasted rye bread with layer of solidified bacon fat on it and freshly cracked pepper (I arteries are hardening already, but it's good! Really it is!)

jo said...

Somehow I must have closed the window before hitting the magical send button.

In your go together column, I fully agree with 2,3 and 4.
I have to dissent on the vegemite and butter as i was rasied on the wrong continent to appreciate that. I do however adore RyVita.

In your doesn't column I have to disagree with number 1. Love fruit and meat, love it! husband, abhors it except for golden raisins in my Chicken Korma.

Chocolate and Mint, well I hate chocolate. Period.

Maple and bacon...honey I was raised in New England LAND of maple syrup. I love the salty sweet...

In my personal list.

Trufles and eggs.

Valbresso Feta, Summer Tomato ad Extra Virgin, unfiltered, olive oil.

Beef and Blue Cheese - the bluer the better. In fact this evening I shall be stuffing my burger with a nice round blob of gorgonzola.

Pork and chili jam. It's the sweet and it.

Shrimp and Sherry. A marriage made in heaven.

Gin and Tonic

Janis Gore said...

It's rare to find a woman who doesn't like chocolate, jo. Do you have a story behind your distaste?

I don't like it, either. But my story goes back to a very large piece of devil's food cake that I cut myself at six or so.

Anh said...

I got frustrated with the fact that we have to order butter in sandwich, too! Man, that's bad!

Agree on Butter and vegemite. I'm a convert since living in Melbourne. Now I can't live without it!

#4 - Snail with Ginger & Pomelo Leaves for me. :D

I can't stand apricot chicken either. :D But I think tomato sauce and chip is acceptable.

Oh, I can't stand peanut butter and chocolate.

lucette said...

I've never had curried eggs, and I can't imagine why not--it sounds great.
Can't say abt the vegemite--not a US thing--although I do like crackers with butter.
And I like my chips with mustard, personally.

jo said...


I never really liked it much, but when i went to culinary school and we spent weeks melting and tempering and dealing with it I realised I hate the smell as well.
I'd rather a vanilla or fruit based dessert anyday.
Now my husband the Brit...he has never met a chocolate he didn't like.

Ange said...

I too used to think chips or 'frittes' & mayonaise were very weird but after living in The Netherlands for a while I came to love them - they are seriously addictive but you have to have Dutch mayo

Another Outspoken Female said...

Like Ange I found the whole mayo and chips thing a little "different" as they'd say in Fountain Lakes, but quickly got the bug while in Europe. A much more civilized condiment for chips than sauce. Perhaps it is a textural thing too - the crunchiness of the perfectly fried chip (yet soft on the inside) with the creaminess of the mayo?

I am not a fan of sweet and savoury anyting. But then again I don't have a very sweet tooth. Though before going dariy free I loved cream cheese with apricot jam, on dark pumperknickel. Now thats a great combo!