Food combos can be savory — or sickening

By: Joe Weaver - Contributing Columnist

A while back, my wife and I were having breakfast with some friends. Before she ate a piece of bacon, my wife got a container of chocolate syrup from the cabinet and drizzled a little chocolate down the center of the bacon. Our friends looked at her as if she were nuts. I, too, put some chocolate syrup on my bacon and ate mine. We explained to our friends that it wasn’t as weird as it looked and they would probably like it if they tried it.

“You should do it. All your friends are doing it. You’re a wuss if you don’t do it.”

Okay, it wasn’t that persuasive. We weren’t kids trying to talk our friends into sneaking a drag off of a cigarette snagged from our parents’ pack of Camels. The truth is, we liked a little chocolate with our bacon. There was a certain blend of sweet and savory. A lot of people like bacon. A lot of people like chocolate. Try them together and you might just find you like them together. Our friends did and they have told everyone they know that chocolate and bacon taste great together. I think it was the only time my wife and I were trendsetters.

Not every combo works like chocolate and bacon. I once knew a woman who would eat pickles and hot sauce. That’s right, simple dill pickle slices doused in hot sauce, the hotter the better. I’m no fan of pickles beyond the kosher deli kind, but the combo of hot sauce and plain old Vlasic pickles made me turn up my nose. There was no way this could be good. I never ventured to find out. I like to think I can be brave at times, but hot sauce and pickles were not on my list of adventures.

My wife sometimes eats a banana with her scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs sliced up and on the same plate as the eggs. She doesn’t mix the eggs and the banana, but they are on the same plate. Some people think it’s weird, but I know a lot of people who eat fruit with their breakfast. Most of the time it’s plain old grapefruit, but I don’t think a banana is that weird.

I heard on the radio about a woman who would put a small block of cheddar cheese in her coffee. I had never heard of anyone doing that and I come from a place where they put cheddar cheese on apple pie. I’ve never had cheese on my pie, but I’m up for trying it once to see what it’s like. I’ll keep cream and sugar in my coffee and leave the cheese out of it. On the same show, there was a discussion of the many ways someone can eat cornbread. I didn’t think any of them were odd, because in my book, cornbread goes with just about anything.

In Cincinnati, you can get, from Skyline Chili, a bowl of chili that is pretty much chili on top of spaghetti noodles. Kinda sounds good, but equally weird. I like pasta and I like chili, but I’m undecided about this one. Where my wife is from in New York, you can get just about anything on pizza. At a place called Rosa’s, in Huntington, New York, you can get a pizza with baked ziti on top. That’s right, kids, you can get a fattening Italian meal with another fattening Italian meal on top of it.

I made a point of writing this column when I was not hungry. I am, however, very curious. I invite the readers of this column to go to my Facebook page ( and share some of your interesting or unusual combinations. I might just get curious enough to try one. There is one caveat, however. These absolutely must be real combinations you or a family member have tried. I know the difference between a sardine sandwich and a sardine and creosote sandwich.

Contributing columnist and Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.

Joe Weaver

Contributing Columnist