Twisted Food Combos Some Weirdo Must Have Discovered

Food is everywhere, and in modern society the options seem almost infinite. You don't have to go far to try strange and exotic foods from around the world, and perhaps that's why we sometimes don't see just how bizarre some of it truly is. Here are a few food combinations that are so twisted they could only have been invented by a total weirdo.


If you're from Maine or something, then clam juice probably doesn't seem that weird—but perhaps it should. Anyone who's eaten shellfish will agree that the juices they come in are best described as slimy with a touch of salt, which is bad enough when it comes with the tasty meaty bit. But if someone told you they were going to take a bucket of raw clams, drain off the juices and give it to you in a glass, you would be forgiven for thinking twice. But that's pretty much what's going on in Clamato, only with some tomato juice thrown in. Usually served as a mixer in cocktails, but also added to a bunch of other stuff that doesn't need it, Clamato must be better than it sounds, otherwise it wouldn't still be kicking around—but that doesn't make it any less disgusting.

Ham and pineapple

A classic that most people will agree is actually pretty great, ham and pineapple (most often found on pizza, but not exclusively) is definitely a strange combination. It sounds like something cooked up in a house full of hungover students who hadn't been shopping recently. But it is so good it was more likely dreamt up by a retired evil genius who now works part time as a chef. The combination of the everyday salty sweet ham, and the exotic tangy sweet pineapple is only really disapproved of by that small cadre of food snobs who can't accept pineapple on pizza. But that's not enough to deny its greatness.

Chocolate orange

Chocolate is one of those miracle foods that seems to go with almost anything: pretzels, in sandwiches, and in ice cream. But the combo that really stands out is chocolate and orange. Most of the chocolate/whatever combos feature an actual food thing: peanuts, raisins etc, coated in chocolate—but not with chocolate orange. It's just a chocolate. And not even a natural flavor; the orange in chocolate orange is so far removed from the refreshing citrus fruit it's named for that it bears almost no resemblance. But it's been around so long that it's a thing, and everyone ignores the fact that it's a poor chemical substitute, then mixes it with chocolate and shoves it in their faces.

Bloody Mary

Now officially accepted as an appropriate breakfast cocktail, the Bloody Mary is a hangover favorite. The true origins of the Bloody Mary are lost in the clamor of people trying to take credit for it—who are mostly bartenders, obviously. But when you think about it, the Bloody Mary is another of those combinations that sounds like it should have been created a few hours into a frat party that was running out of booze. The ingredients sound like a drunken dare: salt and pepper, cayenne, worcestershire sauce, tomato juice, and vodka. Then shove a stick of celery in the top (and sometimes bacon) and everyone starts shouting "chug!" But it doesn't taste like it came out of a frat party, it tastes like it came out of a cocktail bar that employs a talented staff, thank goodness. Just don't add any clam juice.

Peanut butter and jelly

Who in their right mind thinks two pieces of bread stuck together with two kinds of slimy, and occasionally slightly crunchy, spreads is an appetizing proposition? It sounds like the crazed invention of a child playing chef: found on the menu somewhere between the toothpaste sandwich, and the yogurt and orange juice cocktail—but that's not the truth. It first appears in recipe books in 1901, and since at that time peanut butter was not the cheap option it is now, it couldn't have been the frivolous invention of a child. Which makes it a slightly disturbing mystery.


Another exotic foreign delicacy that has achieved boring domestic popularity, eating sushi is no longer just the refined choice of the world traveller. Getting stocked in the supermarket has a way of taking the class out of food, and that's both a good and a bad thing. But what it also does is dull us to the essential weirdness that is sushi. While acknowledging that sushi is the product of the ancient and honorable tradition of Japanese cuisine, it has to be said that it sounds like something cooked up (or, rather, un-cooked up) by a castaway. Raw fish and rice wrapped in seaweed, but sometimes without the fish. It's too refined to be a drunken concoction, and can only really be explained by a long history of searching for ever more abstract culinary combinations—but it's still pretty weird.

Caesar salad

Salads are usually a can't deny it. So it's no surprise that weird salads exist, products of the battle against the boring. But where most people throw in a few raisins, or a bit of cheese and apple to spice things up, the inventor of the Caesar salad went a bit further. Unlike most of the items on this list, the story of the invention of the Caesar salad makes perfect sense. A busy restaurant on the Fourth of July in 1924 was running out of food. So the chef decided to throw a bunch of stuff together to make a salad, and because salads are boring and the chef wants to make it more exciting, he makes and tosses it at the table in front of the guests—everyone loves a bit of theatre with their food. And it was a hit, but it's still kind of weird. Lettuce, salt and pepper, lime juice, and Worcestershire sauce: so far, so Bloody Mary. Then throw in a nearly raw egg yolk, and some croutons, and the crazy train is rolling. But if that isn't strange enough for you, then throw in some anchovies—because why the hell not?

Corn dog

The mighty corn dog. It doesn't sound good. Hot dogs are the quintessential American convenience food, but apparently not convenient enough for someone. Perhaps the essential lack of cohesion between the ingredients was the inspiration, the bane of the hot dog loving long-distance truck driver. So it was coated in corn batter and deep fried. Because who doesn't think of corn batter when they hear "hot dog"? And it's on a stick, which obviously has the double benefit of keeping your hands clean and giving you something to pick your teeth with afterwards. The corn dog is a staple of midwestern state fairs where the stick can also be employed to defend personal space while watching the lumberjack race, or the steam engine powered ice cream maker. But don't let that distract you from the essential weirdness of this bizarre food combination, or the fact that it is a depressingly unsurprising creation of the American convenience food industry.