Ice Cream and Fries
If you’ve made a face when your friends dipped fries into a Wendy’s Frosty or McFlurry, it turns out they were onto something. This takes the combination of salty and sweet to the next level. Because in addition to the flavors, you’re also mixing the heat of a fresh box of fries with the coldness of the ice cream. Salty, sweet, hot, and cold all at the same time—what’s not to love? There’s no way of telling what brave soul first tried this combination. But we’re thankful for it, whoever they are.
Still not convinced this is a flavor people actually enjoy? Just ask Coolhaus! The brand sells a pint of “Milkshake & Fries” ice cream that includes bits of fries, along with malt balls, blended into vanilla ice cream.2
Chocolate and Avocado
We’re not just talking about adding a piece of chocolate to your morning avocado toast, although that does sound delicious. Avocado’s creamy, buttery texture naturally lends itself to chocolate-flavored recipes, of which there are many to choose from. Dip your toes into the flavor combination with a creamy avocado and chocolate milkshake, which features cacao powder and a quarter avocado.3
Olive Oil and Ice Cream
If you haven’t tried it, you might be hesitant about this combination, but plenty of people swear by it. For a true salty-sweet combo, try adding a drizzle of olive oil and a few sea salt flakes to vanilla ice cream. You won’t regret it.
Another option is to try olive oil gelato if your local scoop shop offers it. But if you’re able to assemble the olive oil sundae yourself, you might be surprised to find you enjoy the taste after all.4
Coca-Cola and Chicken
Recipes for “Cola chicken” are so abundant that Coca-Cola itself even has one on its website. While most people are more familiar with the soda in its drinkable form, there’s apparently something to be said for frying chicken in it, too. If you think about it, it is still a salty-sweet combo. And it’s not really much weirder than other sweet meat flavorings, like teriyaki or sweet barbecue sauce.5
Strawberries and Balsamic
Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are an age-old Italian combination that works surprisingly well. As Plated explained, the savory balsamic flavor makes strawberries taste even more sweet, complementing their already-juicy nature. Intrigued? Try this grilled strawberry shortcake recipe to give the strawberry-balsamic combination a try.6
Cheddar Cheese and Apple Pie
Fresh apples and cheese slices are a common combination, so it was only a matter of time before the cheese idea hit apple pie, too. As Atlas Obscura reported, the tradition of adding cheese to apple pie seems to have originated in England, and it’s been going on for centuries. The outlet posits that today, cheddar-topped apple pie is more popular in dairy-producing regions of the United States like the Midwest and New England.
If you want to try out this trend, you don’t have to throw a yellow slice on top of the next slice of pie you eat. Try baking cheddar into your pie crust to test out this intriguing combo.
Peanut Butter and a Burger
While many of the options on this list rely on salty-sweet combinations, this is more of a salt and more salt situation. Apparently, adding melted peanut butter when forming beef patties will make them juicier. For an even more daring take on the combo, try adding Thai peanut sauce to your next burger for an unforgettable flavor combination.