Following the relative success of my tomato and orange juice soup I thought I would try a spinoff of my own invention: a tomato and marmalade pasta sauce. Sound like an excellent idea? I didn’t think so.
As you might imagine, orange juice’s sweetness made the soup just a little brighter and more citrusy than your average tomato soup. Marmalade on the other hand (for the non-Paddingtons out there) is a kind of jam full of sliced orange peels and is thus a little on the bitter side. When consumed with toast, its usual breakfast partner, marmalade has the bread and butter to absorb some of its tart, bitter, who-thought-putting-orange-peels-in-jam-was-a-good-idea thing. This is not the case when you sling a quarter cup into a pasta sauce.
So imagine, if you will, my pan welcoming and warming olive oil, garlic, and chopped onions. The pan hesitates slightly as three heaping tablespoons of thick cut marmalade make their appearance, but says what the heck and allows them to mingle with the rest of the crowd. Red hot pepper flakes, a can of diced tomatoes, and a quarter cup of cream make their entrance too; at this point the pan is turning no one away. Now simmer. Now taste. Taste something in between molasses, mole, and roasted red peppers.
I won’t continue. But remember when I tried plums and figs together? That turned out well! Admittedly plums and figs together sounds a lot more appetizing than marmalade and anything but polenta cakes or toast, but I tried marmalade and tomatoes together anyway.
Now I doubt you’ve tried this combination, (and just to be clear: you absolutely should not try it) but perhaps you’ve tried another pairing that sounded disgusting but turned out splendid? Or turned out just a disgusting as it sounded? Please let me know.