Weird Combinations for this week is BANANA & GOLDFISH CRACKERS. I munched across this combination by complete accident — back when my husband Matt and I lived in SF, I would often swing by his office for free snacks (#startuplife). One particular day there were no more snack plates, only shallow bowls, so when I helped myself to the usual suspects (goldfish, pretzels, banana chips, M&M’s), the goldfish and bananas happened to come together in a bite that led me to this mini dessert.
The Dish: Classic Goldfish crackers pulverized with milk, sugar & butter, made into thin waffle cones. "Banana flambé" ice cream of rum-flamed bananas infused into an eggless base.
Tastes Like: Caramelized mac & cheese meets banana cream pie, á la mode style. First, cold and creamy, with a hint of alcohol & burnt sugar. Next, roasted banana with a cheesy chewiness.
Why It Works: Overall, I think this pairing works due to classic flavor layering: salty and sweet, floral (from fruit) and fat (from cheese). This is just one way to present this combination — you could also make a chunky ice cream with goldfish in it, or a full goldfish waffle topped with banana compote, even a banana sundae with molten goldfish.
Scientifically, this is the shared compounds theory showing itself again. From the VCF: Bananas & cheddar cheese share the hydrocarbon octane. From The Flavor Matrix book: Tropical fruits (including bananas) share a lactone methyl hexanoate which is also in cheeses. (The Good Scents Company describes it as "fruity fatty".) According to the "Dairy" matrix, its flavors generally pair well with banana based on their shared aromatic compounds.
To Recreate at Home: The goldfish waffle cones are a thin batter made of very pulverized goldfish crackers, sugar, milk and melted butter. The full recipe I donated to the How to Take Care Cookbook compiled by Krystal Mack to help raise funds for charities that help victims of domestic violence. Any proven donation of $5 or more to a charity addressing DV will get you a copy of the full cookbook. As for the banana flambé ice cream, caramelize the bananas well and flambé them with a high quality aged rum, then blend into an eggless ice cream base to create a full mouthfeel with potent banana flavor. Let infuse overnight before churning.