Culinary Brain Teaser: The Incompatible Food Triad

Culinary Brain Teaser: The Incompatible Food Triad

Emma Christensen
May 2, 2008

Ok, folks, put on your thinking caps. Professor George Hart has issued a challenge to all us smarty-pants foodies.

He asks, "Can you find three foods such that all three do not go together (by any reasonable definition of foods "going together") but every pair of them does go together?" In other words, a triad of food ingredients where A+B is lovely, B+C is scrumptious, and even A+C is conceivable, but A+B+C is just unthinkably disgusting?

There have been a few attempts over the years: "chocolate + chicken + honey," "salted cucumbers + sugar + yogurt," "lemon + cocoa + curry."

These are all promising combinations, to be sure. But in these days of culinary fusion and unexpected flavor combinations, none of these really sounds completely out of the realm of possibility.

The amazing thing is that Hart has been at this since 2003! Surely one of us can come up with an incompatible food triad and help the professor end his quest!

(Photo Credit: Dagwood Sandwich by Bill Melton via, $29.99)

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