/ Food & Drink

What’s your favourite odd food pairing?

Cheddar cheese on apple pie? Honey on pizza? Let’s talk about the food pairings that create your favourite flavour symphony.

I have a vivid memory of trying cheese with fruitcake for the first time. Having been hiking up the side of a waterfall in Trinidad for most of the day at the height of summer, a generous slice of cake topped with some very mature cheddar was an unexpected welcome from the hosts in the flat where we were staying. 

Unexpected to find a bit of Yorkshire in the Caribbean and not a bad thing – but a bit heavy for me in the heat. 

Some odd combinations have effectively become commonplace. It’s not unusual to have chili peppers in a chocolate bar, and few of us would give the cranberry sauce side to your turkey a second thought.

Odd couples

Asking around a bit wider via Instagram revealed a few responses I’ve never heard of before: 

🍽️ Popcorn and ketchup

🍽️ Hot chocolate and…. chunks of cheese!?

🍽️ Baked beans and Yorkshire pudding

🍽️ Spaghetti and Quavers

🍽️ McDonald’s french fries dipped in milkshakes/ice cream

Some of these proved so bizarre I’d be keen to try them just to say I’ve been there. 

That one may look like an April fool, bit it actually ended up making the menu in Singapore and going down surprisingly well with the public!

Adventurous that I am though, there’s one combination I won’t try again: 

Pineapple on pizza?
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Your favourite flavour pairings

What are your favourite unlikely food combinations?  

How do you discover your unexpected food parings? Do you go by others’ recommendations, happy accidents when cooking, or another way?  

What unexpected combinations would you recommend to others? Which ones would you not touch with a barge pole? 


When I needed a quick lunch out, I used to like Kit-kat with salt & vinegar crisps.

Cheese with blackcurrant jam or honey.

I prefer mint jelly or cranberry jelly for the sweet tartness with lamb or turkey. Unfortunately, most producers seem to have cut back on the mint and cranberry so they are mostly sugary jelly these days.

Pineapple on pizza? I wouldn’t go out of my way to add it as a topping (I only eat home-made pizza), but if there was some left over that needed eating up, possibly, although it would probably go better in my home-made coleslaw that I sometimes add sultanas to.

Black pepper on strawberries. ”The pepper serves to neutralise the tartness, which allows the inherent sweetness of the strawberry to shine through stronger than ever. The pepper also balances the sweetness that keeps it from tasting only like sugar and allows all of the subtle fruity flavours to come out.”

The virus I came back from holiday with 7 years ago, left me unable to consume anything acidic that includes most fruit. Hubby will be eating strawberries soon, so thanks Beryl I will try your suggestion.

Apple pie and cheese, cheese and raspberry jam, Yorkshire pud with jam (as a sweet), fruitcake and cheese are traditional and highly recommended. My grandfather put salt on his cornflakes and sugar on lettuce. Strawberry omelette is nice – a little sugar in the egg and soften the strawberries in butter.

A Marmite and cucumber sandwich on fresh white thick cut bread.

I’m happy to try adding stem ginger to almost anything. Plain yoghurt is far more enjoyable with ginger and adding a little of the syrup counteracts the tartness.

I agree with ginger and nutmeg which can add a background zing to many drinks and fruit concoctions. Apple and cheese has been a staple of mine for many years, they work well together and there is nothing odd about them! The food rule is more about taste than the mental combinations, but some of the recipes seen on television would certainly not be on my table in any form. My blender does create some interesting drinks, where unlikely green vegetables and fruits combine and hide each other, provided the quantities are well judged. When ill judged it is sometimes possible to drink them as one might a medicine but they can always be diluted and sweetened with honey.

Radishes with butter is a popular way to serve them in France. Just to be clear, it’s cold butter, applied with a knife like you would butter bread.

Mcdonalds China also released an Oreo and McSpam burger back in January that was all the rage, can’t say that I will try that one anytime soon lol

I’ve never tried a deep fried Mars bar, and chips with gravy seems unpleasant. But then, unless you try something you never know. I think at one level oysters look pretty revolting but…….yum.

Oh no, none of those thanks

Oooh I can vouch for deep fried mars bars, they’re great. Although very sickly haha

I used to eat chips with curry sauce, never tried fried Mars bars and oysters will stay looking pretty revolting.

Homemade apple bread (tastes like cake, without the calories!) spread with Marmite mixed with butter. The apples are homegrown and extremely sweet and tasty.

Stela says:
23 April 2021

Cheese with hot chocolate sound nice i love it! I also love watermelon with salt and feta cheese! I’m from Greece and in my country we love this! Sweet and salty always go well together!

Palta says:
23 April 2021

My wife was making a pork and cider casserole when she added ginger ale thinking that it was cider. The result was delicious.

I have found that a spread of Marmite on toast with a generous spread of Cream Cheese on top makes for a tasty snack.

Banana and marmite sandwiches

Yes, Marmite improves everything.

I wonder what a banana and marmite smoothie tastes like? 🤔 Yet again the bananas have been delivered too ripe for my taste.

How do you stop bananas (over) ripening too quickly? I buy them slightly green, just too hard and lacking flavour, then in no time they seem to get to perfection and start turning black.

I used to be taken for a business lunch to a pub where the landlady not only made great fish and chips but produced deep fried battered bananas with golden syrup and cream for pud.

Morrisons sells bunches of green ‘Ripen at Home’ bananas.

Sadly, Morrisons puts them in a polythene bag, despite the fact that nature has provided them with a protective wrapper that can be removed without contaminating the contents. Sometimes I think that mankind is too stupid to survive.

I have bought ripen-at-home bananas from Ocado but they never became edible.

If I was buying in person, I would just buy 3 slightly green, but online you get 5 and their ripeness is pot-luck.

I consider M&S to be best for bananas and I go for the loose ones that customers have detached from the bunches and select a range of colours to see us through the next few days. When they go brown they get sweeter but can then go mushy quite quickly.

There is quite a bit of information on the internet about storing bananas but some of it is contradictory. A fairly reliable tip is to store ripe bananas with unripe fruit [such as a tomato or pear]. It will slow down the ripening process of the bananas, while ripening faster itself. Storing bananas in a brown paper bag seems to be better than using a polythene bag.

To those who would criticise my description of a tomato as a fruit [like, you wouldn’t put one in a fruit salad] I would say a tomato is the fruit of the tomato plant just as a conker is the fruit of the horse chestnut tree.

If bananas have a tendency to drive you bananas, check out the following:

http://www.livestrong.com – Why do bananas cause a stomach ache?

Bananas are one of the few fruits I can eat Beryl as luckily I don’t get any side effects from them. Searching for bananas on livestrong returns 1238 articles and a quick glance at the titles makes you wonder if they are good or bad. Searching on the whole title does bring up the relevant article though.

Wavechange, if you had received my bananas this week you would have wanted them in a bag, although I do think a paper bag would have sufficed. They were bruised, gouged and slightly sticky !!!

Ripe bananas are very easily damaged by handling and transport, unfortunately, so I choose ones that are not quite ripe when shopping. I doubt that a bag will help much but as you say, paper bags are an alternative.

I am not keen on using Livestrong as a source of information. That’s in general rather than in relation to bananas.

Thanks for supplying the whole website address which is easier for most to log straight into alfa. As you are already probably aware, my iPad never shows the full address in the display box. I have tried tapping it but is still cuts out before the end. Not a problem with the laptop. Perhaps it’s time for me to ditch and switch, but the laptop does drive me bananas at times 🙂

Here is a possible solution, Beryl:

Go to Safari > Preferences or click the Command+, keyboard shortcut.
Click the Advanced tab.
Check the “Show full website address” box.
Close the Preferences window.

Just to add to all things weird this year, Heinz have announced a Terrys Chocolate Orange Mayonnaise. At the moment there are 200 jars up for grabs via a competition on their site. Are you adventurous enough to try it?