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First, let me define food crimes: they’re combinations of food that are definitely unconventional, and seen as gross to many people. I know this because many of my friends have labeled my tastes in food as food crimes. It all started as curiosity, but now I find it fun to find new ways to weird out my friends.

It technically all started on Halloween in my senior year of high school. I had chicken nuggets and applesauce, and I looked at them and thought, “wait, wouldn’t these be good together?” And so I took one of my chicken nuggets and dipped it into the cup of applesauce. Promptly my friends freaked out, and my friend McKenna (hi McKenna!!) took a video recording her reaction as I continued eating the chicken nuggets in applesauce.

From that point on, I not only began trying more food combinations, but I remembered some from my past that would definitely count as food crimes. A lot of these are so good that I’ve had them many times, while others I’ve only had the chance to try once or twice.

Here I separated them into easy categories, and I’ll be commenting on the tastes and different variations of each! For the record, I highly recommend these to everyone. Don’t listen to my friends who say they’re “sins” or “disgusting.” They are god-tier food choices.

Category One: Coffee Crimes

One of my favorite coffee crimes is coffee ramen, which is just as it sounds: ramen made with coffee. To clarify, I didn’t add the flavor packet to the ramen, but instead of using water to cook the ramen (and basically make it soup), I used coffee, courtesy of my Keurig. It tasted really great, and spurred one of my favorite things I’ve ever said: it’s not a mistake if it tastes like pretzels.

Another that tasted just as good was oatmeal made with, you guessed it, coffee. This was no accident; I only had one mug left and wanted breakfast and coffee, so I essentially multitasked. Brown sugar maple oatmeal with caramel swirl coffee is one of the best kinds of oatmeal in the world, let me tell you that.

On the more cursed side of things is cheese in coffee. I’d heard this was a thing, especially in France with specific types of cheese, but I wanted to see for myself, so one morning instead of creamer I put a spoonful of cream cheese in my coffee. It really didn’t affect the taste much, but I did remember halfway through that I didn’t like cream cheese. Me forgetting I don’t like things tends to happen a lot.

Even more cursed is an idea I got from a Tumblr post that I will likely never find again (as I’m writing this, it’s been an hour since I began searching for it. It’s nowhere to be found on either of my blogs). That wonderful idea is one of my most recent food crimes: iced coffee and chicken nuggets. While the Tumblr post claimed that iced coffee and dino nuggets do not go together, I can now prove them wrong because I’ve tried it and I liked it! It was a very interesting flavor combination to say the least, especially since it was vanilla-flavored iced coffee.

And finally, the last one in the category and the only accidental one: tea made with coffee. The thing was, I was trying to make myself some caramel tea (and I know tea lovers will come at me for that one), but I’d forgotten that there was still a used k-cup in my Keurig. Thankfully, that was also caramel flavored, so basically I had double the caramel and double the caffeine in my drink. I don’t remember much of that day (I’m joking; it didn’t really feel like much was different).

Category Two: Applesauce Crimes

This is mostly used loosely because I eat everything, and I mean everything with applesauce. Name something, I’ve probably tried it. This includes chicken nuggets (as explained above), all vegetables my family eats on a regular basis, most meats, pasta, eggs, potato products like tater tots and french fries, tacos, peanut butter sandwiches, Cheeze-Its, hamburgers, pizza and baked beans. I’m gonna leave it at that and let you decide for yourself just how many of these you would try, but I will say these were all very good. Applesauce is one of the best condiments out there.

Category Three: Egg Crimes

Like the applesauce crimes, I’m going to be a bit vague here because there’s a lot to unpack. In my family, we have a dish that originated when I was little called Eggs Surprise. While traditionally made with just scrambled eggs and leftover pasta (yes in the same pan), it has since evolved to include just about any leftovers in the fridge. Usually it’s something like pasta or potatoes of any kind, maybe some vegetables. It all depends on how I (and usually my mom) are feeling on any given morning. And, yes, we usually eat it with coffee.

Category Four: Peanut Butter Crimes

On the opposite side of the applesauce spectrum is peanut butter. I can, will and have eaten peanut butter straight from the jar like it’s ice cream, and much like with applesauce I’ll also eat it with a myriad of other food. One of my favorite examples is peanut butter hot chocolate, in which I straight-up put a spoonful of peanut butter in my hot chocolate. It doesn’t fully melt, so in the end I’m left with what tastes like chocolate peanut butter sauce. Trust me, it’s really good!

Another is something I tried last school year: a peanut butter and mandarin orange sandwich. It tastes a lot better than it sounds, trust me, and it was a way to make sure I ate fruit that day. It all worked out in the end, because I got to gross out some of my friends with it!

This next one, I actually tried when I was nine. My family was on vacation at the beach when I decided for lunch I would have leftover ham from the night before (not warmed up at all) with honey-roasted peanut butter spread on it. Now, that was a long time ago so I don’t really remember how it tasted, but I did eat the entire thing so that should speak to its flavor.

Category Five: Miscellaneous

Don’t worry, there’s plenty more that don’t fit into the other categories.

Along the same lines of coffee and cheese, I also tried caramel tea and cheese; this time, though, it was just cheddar that I took a bite of and then took a sip of tea. I have to say, it was a lot tastier than I originally thought it would be! Caramel tea in general seems to go with a lot of different foods.

And speaking of tea! My go-to writing snack is white cheddar Cheese-itz, chocolate chips, occasionally unsalted pretzels and caramel tea. My roommates hate me for this snack, and so do my sisters, but I still hold that the sweet/salty balance is perfect with this snack. I’m not even kidding when I say everyone should try this at some point in their lives.

Finally, we have another favorite tried on another vacation: oatmeal and cheese. All we had for breakfast was plain oatmeal, which isn’t the best in my opinion, so I looked up different things to add to oatmeal. Lo and behold, cheese came up as one of the options! So I tried it and I LOVED it. I think I even got my friend to try it, too, but I don’t remember if she ended up liking it.

Really, half the reason I commit food crimes is curiosity. There’s nothing better than having that itch scratched, you know? I encourage everyone to try at least one food crime in their lives, at least to satisfy a curiosity. Who knows? You may stumble upon your new favorite combination!

Nina Fichera

Geneseo '24

Nina Fichera is an avid writer and reader, and can often be found writing somewhere (usually in her room) with her trusty journal. She is working towards an English degree, with the hopes of becoming a Creative Writing professor.
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