This month the AFMA Commentary with Phil Hawkes has some good food news as it does about every month. I’ve found that even if I don’t like the suggestions, I enjoy what is said about them.
What would you consider your favorite food combinations? Some are obvious like bacon and eggs but one I’ve always enjoyed is vinegar and salt over home grown tomatoes. I’m talking about summer tomatoes that you buy out of the garden at a farm stand in the country. Winter tomatoes, or “hot house” tomatoes as we used to call them, don’t make the grade.
Other obvious choices would include Oreos and a glass of ice cold milk, mashed potatoes and gravy, chips and salsa, and cheese and crackers, especially if the cheese is the Longhorn I used to sell at Carl’s Deli in the mid 1960s. I haven’t found a cheese yet that compares.
Here are some unusual combinations you may or may not enjoy:
Carrots and sugar. It’s a French taste and I’m half French-Canadian so maybe that is why I like carrots and sugar. The sugar makes a nice sweet glaze on cooked carrots.
Coffee and salt. When I was in the Air Force, I worked in offices that had those big 24 cup coffee pots and whenever someone made coffee they put a dash of salt in the grounds. It was supposed to bring out a bit more of the coffee flavor but I never noticed any difference. As a sidebar, the Lieutenant Colonel I worked for used to use fresh coffee grounds like snuff and put a little between his cheek and gum. Yikes!
Tomatoes and sugar. I like good tomatoes about any old way. I’ve had them with sugar, salt, and vinegar and they taste great all three ways.
Tomatoes and their foliage. When cooking with tomatoes, it is recommended to throw the stems into the pot with the tomatoes. When through cooking, fish out the stems and you find a much stronger tomato presence in your food.
Potatoes and nutmeg. Add a dash of nutmeg to any potato recipe and you should notice a more enriched taste of the potato.
Strawberries and pepper. This one sounds a bit strange but it is recommended that you grind some fresh peppercorns onto strawberries to add more flavor. I’ve never tried it but if you do, I would recommend doing a test berry first just in case. We’re in the strawberry season now so you may want to give this a try.