The search for a set of three foods – where any pair go together, but all three do not – is generating some tasty debate
The high concept behind Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new book – Hugh’s Three Good Things – is that every recipe includes only three elements.
Three elements, that is, that combine deliciously well with each other.
For at least three decades, however, a community of academics has been interested in an opposite problem.
The Incompatible Food Triad is a puzzle that aims to find three ingredients such that:
1) any two of them go well together.
2) all three together do not.
It is not difficult to find three ingredients that do not combine together, but usually this is because at least two of the ingredients do not combine together. In order for three ingredients to be considered a solution, each of its three constituent pairs must demonstrably be something that people would want to eat.
On his webpage devoted to the puzzle, the mathematician George W Hart lists the most celebrated solution:
a. salted cucumbers
Each of the pairs go together:
a + b = sweet pickles
b + c = a common way to eat yoghurt
a + c = tzatziki
But a + b + c = eurghhhk!
Another well-known solution is
c. lemon juice
a + b = latte
a + c = sometimes served in Italy
b + c = paneer cheese
a + b + c = eurghhhk!
But here we are on less steady ground.
First, we could discount the solution by arguing that liquids are not foods.
Secondly, and more convincingly, we could invent a yummy recipe that involves all three ingredients. Tiffany C Inglis, a computer scientist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, set herself this challenge and her Lemon Affogato is published below.
Here’s a third possible solution:
a + b = lemon chocolate tart
b + c = Mexican mole
a + c = Thai lemon curry
a + b + c = eurghhhk!
On his website George W Hart comes to the conclusion that the puzzle has no solution because there are no impossible combinations – since whether or not something goes well together is a matter of taste, and people around the world enjoy the oddest combinations.
We cannot rule out the chance that there is maybe a tribe (possibly of Thai Mexicans) to whom lemon cocoa curry is a delicacy.
Still, I’d be interested if anyone has any new solutions. Please list them here and I’ll suggest them to Hugh.
– 1 cup milk
– 1cup sugar
– ¼ cup condensed milk
– 5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
– 5tbsp lemon zest
– ½ cup fresh lemon juice
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1 shot of espresso
1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk. Dissolve the sugar and condensed milk in it.
2. Whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, then return all to the pan.
3. Add lemon zest and cook on low heat (while stirring) for 8-10 minutes
4. Remove from heat and strain. Stir in lemon juice. Cool the pan in a bowl of ice water while stirring for 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the cream and refrigerate for a few hours.
6. Use ice cream machine to make ice cream. Freeze
7. Serve with espresso, poured on top.
Visto en THE GUARDIAN