Edited by: Zenya Siyad
Have you ever tried ketchup with chocolate cake? If you haven’t, then you are missing out in life.
Experimenting with food lets you be adventurous without any real danger. It gives you the opportunity to be wild, but in a controlled and more regular basis. You can’t get tattoos every time you want to do something crazy, now can you? You can, however, eat Doritos with Oreos twice a week and experience the feeling of being alive.
My passion for quirky food combinations comes from my lust for adventure. Take, for example, having Belgium chocolate ice cream melt in your mouth while simultaneously soaking a spicy Lay’s chip. The faint taste of salty fries flawlessly complements the frosty richness of chocolate ice cream. This kind of food exploration can be an adventure of its own. It is fun, unexpected, and at least mildly eccentric because everyone’s experience is unique. Even if you eat the same combinations, your approach and reaction to them will be different from someone else’s. This is why each bite makes life more exciting.
You will find the most mind-boggling combinations that will tingle your taste buds while experimenting. The satisfaction of discovering varieties that you weren’t even looking for is unparalleled. The joy doubles when these varieties sit right with you. When they do, you will have found new comfort food whose mere thought may have irked you before. It also teaches you to get out of your comfort zone one step at a time. It will push you to become creative in the simplest of ways, while still giving you an effortless experience. Moreover, every time you try something new, you become more confident as a person. It encourages you to try new things in other parts of your life. Challenging yourself in this way equips you to face day-to-day challenges because testing random combinations requires courage. You will learn to mentally and physically prepare yourself for all possible consequences; you may end up hating your favorite dish after a disastrous attempt, or you may end up converting to vegetarianism. Anything can happen. Being open to such prospects can seem daunting at first, but it becomes less scary and more thrilling as you continue expanding your palate. After a point, your taste buds will crave the zing of unusual pairings so much so that exploring food once a month will prove to be insufficient.
Though being creative has its risks — from impairing your tongue to worsening your gag reflex — it has paid off in my experience. Once, I tried eating a banana with cheese toast. At first, I liked the sweetness of the banana. Its ripeness was well balanced with fermented bread. The cheese and banana melted with grace and coordination. Little did I expect its aftertaste to taste like expired marshmallows. I have never been so traumatized by food. However, at the same time, I’ve also never been this appreciative of food. Pairing banana with cheese toast is an odd combination, but many love it. It is one of the most highly recommended (though weird) combinations. The fact that I did not enjoy something that most people enjoy fascinated me. I knew that everyone’s sense of taste developed differently but I had never truly understood what that meant. To see it play out in real life made me fall in love with food all over again. Ironically, such horrific escapades always left me wanting to try newer blends.
Besides, bad experiences always make the best lunchtime stories. Imagine telling your friends that you dipped an Oreo cookie in orange juice for fun. Considering that most people do not like experimenting with food, reactions to such statements are, more often than not, meme-worthy. Reliving those experiences with your loved ones motivates you to keep experimenting and sharing.
Combining unconventional food items also allows for a fusion across cuisines. Be it Gujarat’s sweet dhoklas, Tamil Nadu’s soft idlis, Italy’s decadent gelato, or Mexico’s spicy Pozole, each culture has its own unique flavors. Combining dishes from different cultures is one way to appreciate all the food in the world. The world can actually become your oyster. All you have to do is start making your food bucket list and checking items off right away!