These 8 Weird Snack Combos Are Surprisingly Good

If there's one thing that's more polarizing than our feelings on who should win this season's Bachelorette (not "wahboom" Lucas, please), it's weird food combinations. Just as we follow our own personal unwritten manuals on fashion trends, we also have very personal feelings about what flavors and textures go (or don't go) together. And when someone steps in and challenges our palates? Well, it can start a good old-fashioned food debate, prompt a Twitter war, or even necessitate a taste test.
Instead of simply turning up our noses to seemingly strange snacking mashups, we always give them a fighting chance. We sampled Scott Foley's famous scrambled eggs and peanut butter, Nick Viall's pickles and PB toast, and even dabbled in pizza unmentionables. But with so many other stranger noshes out there, those eats' experiments have just been the tip of the so-called "icky" iceberg. So we decided to put our taste-testing bibs back on and try out eight more unusual food marriages — from Flaming Hot Cheetos and cream cheese to wasabi peas and grapefruit juice. Join us ahead to find out which we'd 10/10 eat again — and which we'd rather send right on home with "wahboom" Lucas.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Hot Cheetos + Cream Cheese: Yes

Perhaps you've heard of (or sampled) this strange snacking combo before? I had not. I also hadn't purchased a bag of Cheetos since middle school, so I went into this tasting having no idea what to expect. And the results were fire (pun mildly intended).

The Cheetos were crunchy-cheesy-spicy perfection and the cream cheese was creamy-velvety-tangy heaven — so, together they made magic. This flavor combo was reminiscent of hot wings dipped in ranch or blue cheese dressing (only with a crunchier consistency). It was spicy yet refreshing, with the coldness and smoothness of the cream cheese cutting the heat from the Flaming Hot Cheetos. Sort of like having a buffalo dip without having to actually make anything!
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Olive + Cream Cheese Sandwich: Yes

I love olives and I also love sandwiches. Cream cheese I can take or leave, as I prefer my bagels with either butter or lots of melted cheese. But this combination intrigued me nevertheless, as I'll pretty much eat anything on a piece of bread!

At first glance this mashup reminded me of an English tea cucumber sandwich situation, only sub in some salty olives for the cukes. At first bite? Pure umami. The saltiness of the olives paired ideally with the creaminess of cream cheese, cutting it but also complimenting it. Each bite made me want to take another bite, until it was all gone. I will definitely be making this one again! I might even surprise my friends with a strange snack tea party next weekend.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Wasabi Peas + Grapefruit Juice: No

"Hell-to-the-no" were my initial thoughts on this suggested combo. I do not drink grapefruit juice and I have never gone out of my way to purchase wasabi peas for snacking — so my expectations here were low.

First I tried sipping the grapefruit juice and munching on the peas, and then vice-versa (both had the same effect); the juice cut the heat of the wasabi, and the wasabi cut the acidity of the juice. So essentially, the defining flavors of each cancelled each other out leaving a more neutral version of the two. If you are a huge fan of both flavors but really can't handle the intensity of their respective bites, then by all means munch on. But for me, there doesn't seem to be any real point in noshing on these two together.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Potato Chips + Ketchup: Yes

Perhaps this combination is strange to some, but to me it's a classic! I grew up on chips dipped in ketchup (hey, even mayonnaise!) So this was an easy trip down memory lane.

For those of you who are still apprehensive, I'd liken the flavor profile to French fries and ketchup. And the best part? The chips texture stays crisp and crunchy (no soggy fries here).
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Bacon + Vinegar: No

Now here's a pairing that I was very excited for. As a lover of bacon AND vinegar, what could really go wrong here?

Well, one major thing: the greasy (i.e. good) flavor of the bacon was cut by the vinegar's tang, and then it just ended up tasting like bacon on a salad (minus the salad). If I really wanted to dress up my bacon, I would add something sweet — maple syrup or honey?! But for those who are looking to enjoy a lease greasy version of the breakfast staple, vinegar may be the secret weapon.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Tortilla Chips + Peanut Butter: Yes

The idea of peanut butter and tortilla chips, although I love both separately, struck me as a bit strange. The dryness of the chips with the stickiness of the PB seemed like mixing saw dust and cement (or wood chips and paste?) But, I dunked and munched all the same.

And guess what? The chips were actually a more than ideal vehicle for peanutty spread. It's hard to ever go wrong with a salty-sweet combo, and here the nuttiness of the PB with the saltiness of the corn chips created a very specific savory edge. I'd absolutely eat this one again by choice. Maybe even switch things up and serve it at a party in place of salsa.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Fruit + Black Pepper: No

I've always been an advocate for sprinkling salt on my fruit — especially as a saving grace for lackluster ripeness or flavor. So pepper didn't strike me as that far of a stretch for a fruit-topper.

However, the results were disappointing. Aside from the berries and bananas tasting exactly the same, they now also had a black peppery aftertaste (not exactly desirable when you're munching on fruit). In the future, I definitely won't be peppering my fresh berries, bananas, and melons. I'll be sticking to salt, thank you very much.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Hummus + Peanut Butter: Yes

To be completely honest, the idea of hummus and peanut butter together sounded pretty disgusting to me, to say the least. As far as strange consistencies go, hummus AND peanut butter together is a mouthful — not to mention the ingredients and overall flavor profiles could not be on more opposite ends of the snack-spectrum. But y'all, I ate that combined spoonful.

And guess what? It was delicious. Similar to the olive and cream cheese sandwich, this mixture was savory-salty-sweet with that hard to describe umami factor. I'd serve this mixed up in a bowl with tortilla or toasted pita chips for dipping, and even between two pieces of toasted bread as a sandwich.
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