Have you ever heard of strange food pairings that have sounded appetizing? Or perhaps you’ve always stuck to a delicious philosophy of putting two different foods together that may seem unusual or strange? Your outside-of-the-box tastes and creativity should be respected and shared, so we’ve collected some of the best strange food combinations to share with you. Better yet, each pairing we go over will feature seasonal summer foods that are perfect for snacking during some of the hottest days of the year. Check out our list to find your new unusual summer obsessions:
1. Watermelon and Feta Cheese
A watermelon and feta cheese salad is a fresh and easy-to-prepare dish that will stun you with how good it tastes. Combine cut-up watermelon cubes with crumbled feta cheese, slices of red onion, and mint, then mix with balsamic vinegar. Serve this light, cool, sweet, and salty watermelon salad with any classic summertime food. It is the ideal side dish to bring to a barbecue, party, or picnic.
2. Cantaloupe and Prosciutto
“Prosciutto e Melone” is a fun Italian-style appetizer combining the amazing flavors of melon with meat. While many fruits pair well with prosciutto, cantaloupe is one of the best, especially during the warmer times of the year. Simply wrap cantaloupe slices with prosciutto strips and drizzle them with sweet honey or balsamic glaze. It’s so easy to make that it’s a simple choice for a party-starter.
3. Fruit and Salt
In line with the previous item on this list, adding salt to most fruits can bring out their sweetness. Many cultures around the world swear by sprinkling salt on watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, mango, apple, and grapes. The contrast of sweet and salt is the perfect combo for a day in the sun.
4. Mango and Chili Powder
Bring the taste of the tropics to your home with this sensational combination of sweet and spicy. This pairing is as tasty as it is healthy. If you can grab a mango that is early on in its ripening cycle, you’ll also be able to add hints of sour flavor. This simple snack is a good choice for nibbling on throughout the day or as a creative new dessert.
5. Grilled Peaches and Bacon
Another dish that is easy to make is slices of peaches wrapped in bacon, then grilled. The salty taste of bacon enhances the unbeatable sweet flavor of a peak-season peach. Top your peach slices with a balsamic glaze to add tartness to the snack. Be sure to get bacon that isn’t very thickly cut, as it could overpower the flavor of the peaches.
6. Cola and Fried Chicken
While these two pair well when separated, did you know that you can cook your fried chicken in delectable cola brine? Not only does this add sweetness to the chicken, but tenderizes them to perfection, as well. The flavor is subtly sweet and guaranteed to be the talk of your next barbecue party.
7. Interesting Burger Spreads and Toppings
Try this list of spreads and toppings on burgers at your next cookout:
• Peanut Butter – Spreading peanut butter on a burger will elevate the taste of salt while giving them a juicier feel and texture.
• Pineapple – Create a tropical burger with this single ingredient. The sweetness of the pineapple pairs well with the savory flavors of the burger, and the fruit adds a juicy, refreshing element to the sandwich.
• Macaroni and Cheese – This can already be found at most cookouts, so take a spoonful and slather some on your next sandwich. The macaroni and cheese inject a creamy, cheesy flavor to the burger that is hard to resist.
• Bacon Jam - Bacon jam is a delicious way to add some extra flavor to a burger. It's made with bacon, onions, and other spices, and it is perfect for adding a smoky and savory flavor to your food.
• Donuts – Don’t knock it until you try it! Donuts are considered a novelty bun for unique burgers and are more commonly seen at outdoor festivals and events. If you love lots of sweetness in everything you eat, then you might just like this crazy confection.
8. Unique Dips
Spice up your appetizers and snacks with some of the funky food and dip combinations:
• Pickles and Peanut Butter – Blend the salty savor of peanut butter and the tingly taste of vinegar by dipping your pickle spears in this staple spread. These ingredients also work amazingly great together in a sandwich. Don’t knock it till you try it!
• French Fries and Milkshakes – This sweet and salty mix is quite a popular practice among many. If you haven’t tried it yet, this is a great entry-level food pairing that’s perfect for a hot summer day.
• Pizza – If you’ve made or ordered a slice of pizza that isn’t hitting the spot you hoped it would, you could try dabbing it in a few different dips to find what's missing. Ranch-style dips have a tangy taste that complements the tomato sauce well. Some have said that honey is a surprisingly effective agent that can offset an overly salty taste that some meats on a pizza might have. For the real daredevil, one could dip their pizza in hot sauce. No matter how hot a day gets, some capsaicin enthusiasts love including that kick to their slice.
• Graham Crackers, Marshmallows, and Chocolate – You might already be thinking that these already go great together as a s’more, but thinking in terms of dip, you’ll find a way to put a new spin on an old classic. By layering marshmallows on top of the chocolate in a cast iron pan, you can make a dip for which to scoop with graham crackers. If you’ve never thought of turning a s’more into a dip, this is a fun way to bring an outdoor tradition indoors.
If you’re looking for a new way to cook some fantastic favorites this summer, don’t forget to add a teaspoon of creativity and a dash of ingenuity. Check out Wholey’s selection of fantastic meats and other items, and select one to make a unique and mouth-watering creation either from your list or one that’s all your own.