Controversial Food Combinations We Wish Would Go Away

Some food combinations just make total sense. Burgers go with fries. Bacon goes with eggs. Yogurt goes with fruit. Some combos may seem a little weird, but make sense once you've tried them. Peanut butter and jelly, for example, or meat and fruit, or fried chicken and waffles. Others, however, seem to be born out of the deepest pits of madness.

The very existence of these combinations raises so many questions. How did people discover them? Why would anyone try them? What is the point of them? And why — for goodness' sake, why — do they seem to be so damn popular? 

Of course, these are only the opinions of one person. If you enjoy any of these food combos, more power to you–but please, tell us why.

Pickles and chocolate

According to Bustle, the concept of dipping pickles into chocolate isn't a new one. Chocolate-covered pickles became particularly popular on the internet back in 2017 after being lauded in a piece by Delish writer Lena Abraham. Since then, people have tried the delicacy (no, not delicacy; something else, but not delicacy) in their droves. Predictably, opinions tend to be split down the middle as to whether they actually taste any good or not.

Some have praised the mixture of the saltiness of pickles and sweetness of the chocolate, while others have noted the complementary nature of the flavors themselves. Critics, however, have turned their noses up at the strange mouthfeel of the not-delicacy. Maybe you should try it for yourself and see what you think. Or, of course, you can absolutely not do that. We wouldn't blame you.

Pasta and ketchup

In a 2013 interview with The Local, Gianluigi Zenti, who is president of the Italian food organization Academia Barilla, explained one of the most common culinary crimes committed by foreign visitors to the country. "When people ask, 'Where can I get pasta and ketchup?' we are horrified," he told the site. "It has nothing to do with Italian cuisine." Indeed, the dish made headlines recently when his Supreme Court confirmation hearing revealed that controversial Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh eats his pasta with ketchup dolloped on top.

It's difficult to see the appeal behind slathering a perfectly good pasta dish with ketchup. Is it the sweetness of the ketchup? Or, somehow, the way their textures go together? Is it easier, perhaps? Maybe people just don't know that pasta sauce is a thing. Whatever the reason — and in all earnestness — you really can't blame Italians for taking offence at this. It's practically an act of war.

Ice cream and fries

Plenty of great things already go well with fries. If you can glean any off your pasta, ketchup will do. Mustard's always a good one, too. Mayo's a firm favorite, especially in Europe. There's also BBQ sauce, chili sauce, salt and vinegar, garlic mayo, melted cheese, sour cream, gravy, and practically every other sauce or condiment under the sun. They all work perfectly. And yet, according to a number of blog and social media posts, some people still decide to turn to ice cream to accompany their fries.

It's exactly what it sounds like. You take your ice cream (slightly melted) and you take your fries, and you put 'em together and you get... something. Fries dipped in a Frosty has even become a cult-favorite of Wendy's fans. The contrast must be overwhelming in texture, taste and even warmth. Soft hits hard, sweet hits salty and hot hits cold. It's like some kind of battle for supremacy between the two foods, and your mouth is the battleground. Maybe that's why people like it. Who knows?

The Chickle

Aside from being a pretty solid argument for the case that people really need to lay off the trendy, food-based portmanteaus, a Chickle also happens to be a pickle filled with hot chicken. It originated thanks to the minor league baseball team The Fresno Grizzlies, who invented the Chickle as a reference to a 2017 match against the Nashville Sounds. Unfortunately for fans of chicken and pickles alike, it was only available for two days, during the span of the two-game series between the teams. 

Despite this, the Chickle made headlines across the world. Metro called it "deeply unsettling." Mashable celebrated and derided it as "either genius or disgusting." WideOpenEats described it as "everything you could want from chicken inside a pickle."

And while the Chickle hasn't quite taken off globally in quite the same way as, say, pizza, or the hamburger, we will admit that it at least constitutes an admirable act of bravado and innovation on the part of Fresno's baseball team. Go Grizzlies!

The Avolatte

Ah, yes. This was inevitable, wasn't it? Gaze into the trendy nexus and you will see two things: avocados and lattes. A crossover was always going to happen. Enter the Avolatte (we weren't kidding about the portmanteaus), a latte served in an avocado shell. Although it was created as a joke by a Melbourne coffee shop, it actually began to take off and is now something of a genuine phenomenon. Thanks to a bit of social media buzz, the trend began to spread and other baristas gave the "recipe" a shot.

According to the cafe's manager Jaydin Nathan, the Avolatte is a "fun way of rebelling against the older generation who says we won't own a house because we spend too much money on avocado and coffee." So there you have it: the symbol of youth revolution in the 21st century has arrived, and it looks suspiciously like a fruit filled with coffee. Who knew?

Peanut butter burgers

Burgers can be a vehicle for any number of toppings, ranging all the way from the brilliant to the downright mad. Hell, these days a hamburger with only onions, tomato, lettuce and cheese tends to be thought of as a little vanilla. Get creative, and you can add pickles, mushrooms, peppers, bacon, jalapenos, coleslaw, guacamole and all kinds of cheeses, vegetables, sauces and even fruit to your burger. Big shout-out to whatever hamburger joint, then, that decided to outdo all that and start selling burgers with peanut butter on them.

One joint, Killer Burger, makes a popular variation of this recipe. Their burger contains a beef patty, bacon, dill pickles and a slathering of peanut butter. According to Delish, the peanut butter acts as a kind of substitute to cheese, only with a saltier and (obviously) nuttier taste. They insist that Killer Burger's PB burger is "an insane experience," which you could probably assume without ever having tried it.

Broccoli and Cheetos

Most of these strange combos come from pretty innocuous sources — baseball teams, local burger joints, or ironic coffee shops, for example. You wouldn't expect anything like them to come from haute cuisine fine dining restaurants, right?

Wrong. Gaze upon it and weep: broccoli with Cheetos, a recipe created and served in 2014 at New York's Park Avenue Winter by chef Craig Koketsu. The Cheetos (of which Koketsu is a fan, apparently) are added as a garnish to the broccoli, which is served with a Gouda and Parmesan sauce. We can't exactly speak for the dish's popularity for diners at the Park Avenue, many of whom would probably be well within their rights to veer away from spending their hard-earned cash on something a bored stoner could probably rustle up in 15 minutes. But the fact that the actual recipe has been released to the public would at least suggest that, somewhere out there, a bored stoner is, in fact, doing just that.

The Pickleback

The Pickleback exists as proof that just because an idea is simple doesn't mean it's good. It's essentially a shot of whiskey and a back of pickle juice. You drink the whiskey, then you knock back the brine. According to Kitchn, the Pickleback has begun to appear on bar menus all across the United States. It was invented by the Bushwick Country Club, a bar in Brooklyn who, frankly, have a lot to answer for. St. Patrick's Day helped it find a degree of popularity and, soon enough, the internet took notice.

Kitchn's taste test of the Pickleback suggested that the combination wasn't exactly terrible, and that the combination of boozy, savory, salty and sour flavors (sounds great, doesn't it?) immediately makes the drinker/victim hungry. Next time you see one on a menu in a trendy dive bar out of town, maybe you could give it a shot. If you're brave enough.