I’ll Take the Salmon and Motor Oil, Please.

By Ezra Klein

Tyler Cowen on Portugal:

The white asparagus is in season and they stack ham on top of many things, including trout.  No other cuisine can make the blend of rabbit and clam seem so natural.  A good rule of thumb here is to order game, beans, and any combination of ingredients which sounds like a mistake.

This got me thinking about delicious dishes that seemed mistaken. The archetypal example is of course Elvis’s peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches, but I think conventional wisdom has recognized them as totally delicious. The weirdest combination I’ve had came at Jose Andres’s Los Angeles outpost Bazaar, where one of the signature starters is a chilled cube of foie gras wrapped in cotton candy. Unbelievably delicious. Totally unexpected. Can you beat it?

10 responses to “I’ll Take the Salmon and Motor Oil, Please.

  1. I can beat this one easily. As a kid, I invented a number of bold new cuisines, including paper-based delicacy. I would take paper towels and facial tissue and elaborately layer them, placing each layer under water for different intervals to achieve varied levels of soak. The resulting “paper cigars” had beautiful striated patterns, and they were delicious to boot.

    I also invented what I liked to call “unnatural natural peanut butter,” which would involve taking actual peanuts, chewing them, then spittling them onto a piece of bread. Suffice to say, the end result was totally delicious. Even now, my saliva is recognized as a rare delicacy in many parts of the world. Actually, that’s not true — yet.

  2. Of course, on a restaurant level, the most famous are the bizarre combinations at the Fat Duck, where liquorice wrapped salmon, snail porridge, and egg and bacon ice cream are regulars on the renowned ‘taster menu’. On a more personal level, I like very much strawberries, basil, and balsamic vinegar as a combination, which may sound a little strange (although I suspect it’s commonplace in foodie circles).

    Bread and Butter pudding, a delicious English pudding made literally with buttered cheap, white, sliced bread is also stunningly fabulous, if not advisable as a daily staple if, like me, you’re all ready, erm, big boned.

  3. Easy- from Tosca here in DC:

    For dessert- Olive oil ice cream and artichoke marmalade over a molten lava chocolate cake.

    Excellent.

  4. Whipped potato with vanilla over caviar at Cafe Atlantico. Totally weird, totally amazing.

  5. I’m gonna vote for the totally-pedestrian-in-Hawaii “spam musubi.” Spam on top of sushi rice, wrapped in nori, served at every 7-11, kids soccer game, potluck, school cafetria, and even in local McDonalds restaurants. I guess this doesn’t really count as completely novel cuisine, but it’s remarkable for the way the totally gross and American Spam has been so unselfconsciously combined with the so totally Japanese sushi in ways that actually taste like good comfort food — which is what the spam musubi is.

  6. I once made a pie using strawberries and ricotta cheese spiced with cloves and cinnamon. While it was rather runny (I didn’t have enough cheese), it was incredible.

  7. expensive restaurant provides poor meal? sue~it

    variation on “Spotted Dick Suet Pudding”

    prepare your lovely shredded Suet from the hard fat found around the kidneys and loins in beef and sheep,
    and then mix with…
    molasses
    soured milk
    baking soda
    flour
    and raisins

    it is recommended in english cookbooks to serve the spotted dick with warm custard.
    :-)

  8. Annual Menu at the UK Suet Pudding Club

    appetizer~ fried whitebait suet rolls

    main course ~ steak and kidney pie/with suet crust,
    presented with english chips, white bread and herb rocket, with a pint of bateman’s XXX beer.

    afters ~ suet garnished with chocolate mints, washed down with tizer (cherry flavored sugar drink) or tea with milk and two sugars.

  9. Charlie Brown burger at Hamburger Henry’s in Long Beach, Calif. (it doesn’t exist any more). It was a burger with peanut butter.

  10. Pingback: Taste T.O. - Food & Drink In Toronto » Food for Thought - Monday, April 20th

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