Given the chance, most children will experiment a bit with food. I am not talking about trying eggplant or sampling the Camembert. I am speaking more about mixing up strange combinations of food to their liking. You could bet that most of these concoctions would have some sweet and some salty component (like chocolate and potato chips), as these are the tastes that appeal to most young children. As children mature, go to college and become rulers of their own domain, things sometimes get a bit weirder with food combinations that are as fueled by creativity as they are by mood altering substances. I had a friend in college that ate chocolate sandwiches (made with chocolate sprinkles) and mac and cheese made with tuna and pickles.
But this practice of combining foods, as it turns out, is more than just whimsical experimentation, it can also be deemed an eating disorder, according to an article in Psychology Today. It is a phenomenon called “concocting” involves mixing random (or not so random) foods together and binge eating. Such behavior seems to be somewhat common among college students (as they were among the population surveyed, particularly college students from Alabama and Texas). Unlike general overeating, the college students surveyed admitted to “concocting” then eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, and feeling a general sense of being out of control. Admittedly it is somewhat disturbing to think about.
So I am sure you are curious as to what some of these concoctions might be. Here are three mentioned in the piece:
“A paste of hot chocolate mix, powder coffee creamer or powdered skim milk, and sweetener”
“Mashed potatoes w/ Oreos; Oreo cookies with peanut butter, pickles, and chocolate”
“Mayonnaise with cheese, beans, ketchup, and beef”
To be serious, eating disorders of any sort are not a thing to make light of, however, when I took a look at the above “concoctions” I saw some patterns (unctuous with sweet, texture differentiation, umami with yet more umami) and felt I could (in theory) maybe come up with one, or two, or maybe nine “concoctions” that pushed the limits while remaining true to the basic structure and integrity of a “concoction.” So here goes:
1) Broiled eel inserted into a jelly doughnut
2) Nuts, candy canes, and bubble gum
3) Vanilla ice cream, spicy Sri Racha, and apple sauce
4) Potato chips, gin, and herring
5) Chocolate liquor and roasted potatoes baked in a pie crust
6) Eggs, carrots and lemonade
7) Bacon ice cubes in milk
Pickle brine, peanut butter and wasabi peas
9) Turnips, marshmallow Fluff, and olive paste
So, let’s see if you could top those (don’t try these at home)? Anyone care to “concoct” with a recipe that is either outlandish, or maybe even outlandishly good?