July 14, 2024

Punk the picky eater

I, Nicole Gustafson, must confess that I am a picky eater. It’s not that there are a lot of foods I hate; I just feel that life is too short to eat food you don’t love. I’m talking to you, kale.

So in a moment of disregard for my wallet and taste buds, I asked Tailgate Society followers to tweet me their weirdest food favorites and snack combinations. Then I tried them all.

Cream cheese on corned beef wrapped around a pickle

Submitted by Grace

The cream cheese was a little hard to spread on the corned beef so I would recommend taking it out of the fridge for a bit or softening it in the microwave. Despite the struggle, it was totally worth it. This was like an awesome snack sandwich without the bread.

Brussels sprouts

Submitted by TGS writer, Addie Olson

My earliest memory of brussels sprouts was from a Franklin book I read as a child. Franklin didn’t like brussels sprouts so he hid them in his blanket. This set me up for an adolescence spent hating a vegetable I never tried.

I’m here to tell you all, we’ve been unnecessarily mean to brussels sprouts. As an avid hater of literally almost every vegetable, they’re not nearly as bad as I was expecting them to be! 6/10 would tolerate again.

Peanut butter and onion sandwich

Submitted by TGS writer, Jared Smith

Slicing the onions for this sandwich made me cry, which was appropriate because the concept itself makes me cry.

The first bite was mostly bread. The second was mostly “nope.” In defense of this sandwich, the peanut butter did mask the onions much better than I expected. If you dig onions, you would probably like this.

In other news, the sky is blue and this sandwich makes your breath STANK. Eat with caution.

Ketchup chips

Submitted by Patrick Cole

I admit that I first thought “ketchup chips” meant deep fried pieces of actual ketchup or something. Must be a little leftover #MERICA in my brain from the Olympics.

The closest thing I found to this Canadian classic was “all dressed” potato chips, which had a maple leaf on the front of the bag and claimed to be the best selling flavor up north. I’m not sure how they match up to actual ketchup chips, but they. Were. Delicious.

I’m a big fan of salt and vinegar chips and I tasted a little hint of that in these. They were also not as overwhelmingly sweet as regular barbeque chips. I ended up eating far too much of the bag in one sitting. Well done, Canada.

Black licorice

Submitted by Kyle Snyder

I have never felt the intense hate towards black licorice that most people do. I had it as a kid at Grandma’s house and tolerated it.

After trying it again, I still don’t completely understand the outcry. It is not as good as red licorice, but it is also not as bad as it’s reputation. I will finish the bag, but probably not buy it again.

Macaroni and cheese and ketchup

Submitted by Ryan Roozeboom

I know people who mix them, but I am on team #NeverKetchup and have been for as long as I can remember.

It is now my belief that macaroni and cheese can conquer all. This combination does not suck and I’m surprised to feel that way. I may have to combine mac with some other less desirable foods on this list.

Chocolate cake with cream cheese icing in milk

Submitted by Aaron Wall

Guys, I really took one for the team here.

I think the cream cheese was definitely the key to this combo’s success. When the cake crumbled, it mostly tasted like chocolate milk, but then I’d find a chunk of frosting and those bites were delicious.

This would be a great way to enjoy chocolate cake that got too dry instead of wasting it. The only complaint I have is the bits that sunk to the bottom of the glass reminded me of soggy cereal.

Salted watermelon

Submitted by Brad Simpson

I am one of the few people on this earth who can’t stand watermelon. I don’t like it because it’s very bland and watery, so I thought the salt would add a little kick that would make it better.

The salt definitely did help, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to change my mind about watermelon. I am glad I know this trick though because I fully intended to use it if someone feeds me watermelon and I don’t want to offend them.

Dale Earnhardt Jr’s banana and mayo sandwich

Submitted by Andrew

As suggestions were rolling in from TGS followers, this was about the point where I began to question my life choices. Full disclosure, I did buy chipotle mayo instead of regular because I just couldn’t bring myself to suffer through eggy, vinegary hell.

Three bites and I was out. Pretty sure I would eat rotten meat that was guaranteed to give me food poisoning before I’d eat this sandwich again.

White cheddar shells and cheese, grilled chicken, buffalo sauce

Submitted by Levi Larson

There is nothing at all bad about this combination, but after the Dale Jr special I thought I deserved a gimme.

My only complaint would be that I’m lazy and grilling chicken takes extra work. But this is a fantastic take on one of my favorite foods. I may never make plain mac and cheese again.

Vanilla ice cream with balsamic vinegar

Submitted by Levi Larson

I could see the potential for this to be unexpectedly good, but I also thought it sounded super weird, to be honest. I’m very curious how Levi discovered this combination.

It was definitely an interesting battle of opposites. The cold, sweet ice cream did not go horribly with the room-temperature, tangy vinegar. I told myself I was eating a dessert salad. That sounds good for you, right?

I finished the whole dish, but I think I prefer chocolate syrup next time.

Grilled peanut butter and honey sandwich

Submitted by Travis B

I am a firm believer that peanut butter is only as good as the food you combine it with. We know jelly and chocolate each go well with peanut butter, but celery is still bland no matter how much you slather it in PB.

Honey and peanut butter are on the good side. When melted together, they get the sweet and salty mix just right. I would gladly have this easy snack again.

Velveeta mac and cheese with salsa

Submitted by Travis B

I am not a salsa person. This is partly because I hate tomatoes and partly because I just prefer queso. No matter the question, cheese is always the answer.

Fortunately, there is also a product known as cheese in this dish so I was intrigued. Eaten on its own, I think I prefer my mac plain, but Travis also suggested it as a dip. This would be an excellent choice for scoop-shaped chips to shake things up on your tailgate menu.

French fries dipped in applesauce

Submitted by Levi Stevenson

This combination reminds me of my childhood anxiety about separate foods on my plate touching. Is it so wrong to not want your pasta to taste vaguely like peas?!

The slight sweetness of applesauce goes well with salty French fries. But for the same reason I don’t eat applesauce, I can’t eat this again. The lumpy mushiness does me in.

Bologna sandwich with mustard and plain Lays chips

Submitted by Billski

I was familiar with putting chips on a sandwich, although I had never done it before. Mustard is far superior to ketchup, in my opinion, so I was ready to set my mystery meat objections aside and try this sandwich.

It did not disappoint. This is a good summer cook-out sandwich, but I think I will try this again with ham or turkey.

Imitation crab meat raw, can be dipped in warm butter

Submitted by Josh G

The raw crab was definitely slimy, but not inedible. The warm butter was a nice touch. All in all, I would prefer it cooked, but I’d eat it either way.

Strawberry jam and summer sausage sandwich

Submitted by Jordan Mitchell

This sandwich had the misfortune of following both the peanut butter and onion sandwich and the Dale Jr sandwich. I was ready to give up sandwiches altogether.

But the jam and summer sausage turned out to be a nice pairing. It made me think of road trips with my grandparents when I was a kid. I will definitely try this again when my stomach is not so unhappy.

Crunchy peanut butter, Honey Bunches of Oats in a tortilla

Submitted by TGS writer, Matt Nelson

I had to buy an entire jar of crunchy peanut butter for this. Since peanut butter is expensive, I will be suffering through it for weeks so thank you, Matt.

I was anticipating an awfully dry wrap, but was pleasantly surprised. There was just enough sweetness in the cereal to balance out the peanut butter. I honestly didn’t notice the crunchy peanuts, but if you are strongly anti-crunch, I think the flavor would be the same with creamy peanut butter.

Lastly, I want to thank Twitter users Jake Reed and Mitchell Cline for submitting rare treats, Hostess Chocodiles and vegemite. I looked for these on the internet, but had already spent $69 (I know… nice) on the rest of the food here. Kelby Wingert and Michael LeVere also submitted black olives and butter cream frosting on graham crackers, respectively. I love both of those already so you guys have good taste!

And shout out to the grocery store cashier for not commenting on how I was buying some of the weirdest foods all at the same time. You the real MVP!

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Nicole Gustafson
Nicole Gustafson 56 Articles

Nicole was born in Chicago and raised in Des Moines. She took her talents to The Iowa State University, where she earned a degree in journalism. You can find Nicole cheering on her favorite sports teams, hanging out with her dog, or finishing a Netflix marathon. Nicole is a big fan of #pitcherswhorake, fat guy TD's, and carbs. She's not a fan of mornings, winter, or vegetables and will complain to anyone who will listen.

1 Comment

  1. We used to eat the peanut butter honey sandwiches on hot dog buns with a banana as the “hot dog”. I actually brought pb, a banana and bread today for lunch. I feel like your next combo should be like “champagne and orange juice” or “Margarita mix and tequila”. You deserve it.

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