A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Student Life

You really eat that?

I didn’t even come up with the idea. That should have been my first clue. The person who came up with the idea couldn’t wait to hand it off to a younger and newer writer. I looked down at the melted Hershey’s chocolate, holding a Hot Cheeto, regretting my willingness to take on the challenge.

 It is safe to say most people have at least one food combination other people would see as strange. I could not believe people actually enjoyed some of the crazy combinations I heard from WO students. I decided to try them out.

 I asked random student’s for the most unusual food combinations that they enjoy. To make sure students actually ate these combinations, I didn’t mention I would be trying them out when I asked for what they ate.

  The four combinations I tried were peanut butter and jelly hot dogs, Hot Cheetos dipped in melted chocolate, fried chicken with grape jelly, and sushi in ketchup. I am ranking them on a scale of one through four before and after I try them. One is the best and four is the worst.


Name: Tyler Pilger

Food: Fried chicken and grape jelly

How it’s made: I got specific instructions to use KFC chicken with Smuckers grape jelly spread across the top.

Quote: “I discovered it because I had fried chicken and I couldn’t find anything else to dip it in. I’ve been eating it ever since.”

Predictions: I would be more excited to try this one if I could eat it with strawberry jam. People eat sweet things with fried chicken, like chicken and waffles. Grape jelly is more tart. I think it will taste almost like ketchup with chicken but a little more sugary and sour. I think it will be bad, but the others seem even worse. I am ranking this first out of four before trying the combination.

Results: I wasn’t looking forward to trying any of these, but I was surprised by this one. It was the only one I would eat again. The breading had a little spice that offset the sweetness of the grape jelly. There were no weird textures. No weird tastes. After trying it, I don’t even know if I could still consider it a weird food combination. The only downside of this one was the sweet and artificial taste of the jelly, so spreading it on lightly was very important. The overall taste was enjoyable, and I could see people eating this on a daily basis. I am sticking with my original ranking of first out of four.


Name: Fabian Doumerc

Food: Hot Cheetos dipped in melted chocolate

How it’s made: Dip Hot Cheetos into chocolate that has been melted in the microwave.

Quote: “My mom has always made it for me. It’s the perfect mix of nice warm chocolate and crunchy Cheeto.”

Prediction: Chocolate is supposed to be sweet. Hot Cheetos are supposed to be spicy. The two are not supposed to mix. The chocolate will make the Cheetos soggy and overpower the other flavors. I predict the only flavor I will taste is chocolate with chunks of soggy chips and I will have a burning sensation from the spices after I swallow. I am not looking forward to trying this one at all. I am ranking this third out four.

Results: I wish this combination would have tasted how I predicted it would taste. Sadly, it was worse. The Cheetos’ flavor was not only tastable but almost overpowered the chocolate. There was very little sweetness, and when I could taste it, I wish I couldn’t. The flavors did not mix; the after taste was awful, and the soggy chip texture was not one I would like to experience again. If I could rate more than one combination as a four I would, but I can’t so I am sticking with my original ranking of a three.


Name: Jevic DeVries

Food: sushi with ketchup

How it’s made: California roll dipped in ketchup

Quote: “I have to sneak my own ketchup into restaurants because many don’t have any ketchup. The taste and textures work so well together.”

Predictions:  I will be sitting next to a trash can during this taste test. I can’t imagine being able to chew and swallow this without throwing it back up. The rice, vegetables, seaweed, and raw fish all seem like they would have tastes that wouldn’t work with ketchup. The texture is what I think will put it over the edge though. I eat fried fish with ketchup, but raw fish is different. The slimy seaweed and raw fish textures aren’t going to go well with ketchup. My ranking before I try this is a four.

Results: I was extremely surprised by the combination. I thought I would hate it the most, and while it wasn’t enjoyable, it wasn’t intolerable. The texture of ketchup with the sushi was almost unnoticeable; it blended in. It made the taste a little saltier, which was good. The actual taste of tomatoes with the sushi did not go well together, but compared to my other combinations, it wasn’t bad. I am giving this a ranking of second out of four.


Name: Xander Fredrickson

Food: peanut butter and jelly hot dogs

How it’s made: Spread peanut butter on one half of the bun and spread jelly on the other half. Put a hotdog in the middle.

Quote: “My dad said, ‘Why not mix a peanut butter and jelly and put it on the hot dog ?’ So I did. I always eat hot dogs like this now.”

Predictions: This sounds like a little kid couldn’t decide if he wanted a pb & j or if he wanted a hot dog so he decided he would eat both. Hot dogs are usually pretty salty, so I can see how the peanut butter would work with the hotdog. The jelly is what’s going to make this unpleasant. I think the combination will be palatable because they are both common, familiar tastes, but I don’t think I will be eating it more than once. I am ranking this a two before trying it.

Results: A peanut butter and jelly hot dog is the only one I will never put near my mouth again. I could not even make myself swallow the combination. As soon as I took a bite, I regretted it. The hot dog juices exploded and mixed with strawberry jam; the taste was almost unbearable. On top of that, the peanut butter and chunks of strawberries added a texture that should never be put anywhere near your mouth. I make hot dogs for a living, and I couldn’t even make this one taste good. My ranking is  fourth out of four.


  After trying out some crazy combinations, I think everyone should go out there and try something new. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover your new favorite food. Just be careful, you might end up with a combination like peanut butter and jelly hot dogs once or twice along the way.