By Zoya Gervis // SWNS–Pickles wrapped in cheese, popcorn with beans, ice cream on meatloaf, mayo and peanut butter sandwich, cookies dipped in guacamole — these are just a few surprising food combinations Americans say they love.
A study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with the SPAM brand aims to uncover the most unusual food combinations and the characteristics coinciding with them. The poll canvassed the opinions of 2,000 Americans across California, Texas, New York, Hawaii and Florida, yielding some otherworldly answers, including; meatballs and mayo, octopus and roasted bell peppers and alligator and fries.
Respondents say they discovered their favorite food combinations from family and friends (41%), while dining at a restaurant (36%) or via social media (33%) and three in four are proud to share their unexpected food mashups with others
Results also reveal a quarter turn to Facebook to find products, recipes or restaurants offering up their favorite dishes while another 17% turn to YouTube.
The survey finds the most popular food combo Americans love is the classic dipping of french fries in their chocolate milkshake. While 44% love chocolate and popcorn and another 36% like sour cream and onion chips with chocolate.
Over a quarter (26%) of Americans can’t eat a meal without adding hot sauce to it while 27% can’t imagine eating a meal without mayonnaise.
Beyond hot sauce and mayo, another 28% won’t eat a meal without a salt shaker handy.
Over half (52%) say they’ll have a “freak out” if their food touches each other while on their plate.
Nearly one in four (39%) of those surveyed choose to eat their dessert first while 41% skip breakfast altogether to enjoy a larger lunch instead.
The findings also show Americans would be willing to go to extreme lengths to satisfy their cravings, whether ordering through a food delivery app (38%), cancelling their plans (26%) or leaving work midday to appease their appetite (34%).
12:22p.m. was found to be the most popular time for cravings to strike. Nearly half get a hankering for a specific food when their friends talk about a recent food experience, while a third get a specific craving when they’re extra stressed.
Fifty-two percent of Americans say their cravings are brought on by watching food videos or some type of entertainment whether online or on TV.
Through their search, Americans have found an affinity for popular food trends including flavored gnocchi (39%), SPAM Musubi (34%) and cauliflower pizza crust (31%), which they would all enjoy again.
“Consumers nationwide aren’t holding back when it comes to creating delicious food pairings,” said Jason Hron, SPAM brand manager. “Americans are satisfying their cravings by incorporating SPAM products into a variety of dishes including Filipino, Korean, and Mexican-style recipes as well as classics like breakfast items and SPAM Musubi.”
Seventy percent of respondents say SPAM products are a cooking staple. The survey results show a preference for incorporating the iconic brand into Hawaiian dishes with the most popular pairings including eggs and fried rice.
TOP 10 MOST POPULAR UNUSUAL FOOD COMBINATIONS
- French fries and chocolate milkshake 55%
- Cottage cheese and fruit 50%
- Fruit preserves with cheese and crackers 47%
- Chocolate and popcorn 45%
- Peanut butter and apple 44%
- Sauerkraut and cheese 43%
- Cheddar cheese and apple pie 42%
- French fries and pickles 37%
- Cold pizza and ranch dressing 36%
- Sour cream and onion chips and chocolate 36%
TOP 5 LENGTHS AMERICANS WILL GO TO JUST TO SATISFY THEIR CRAVINGS
- Pay a premium ordering through a food delivery app 38%
- Leave work to go purchase an item 34%
- Skip class 29%
- Arrive late to a meeting 28%
- Cancel plans 26%
TOP 5 THINGS THAT SPARK A FOOD CRAVING
- Watching food videos/entertainment/TV 52%
- Talking to friends about a food experience 42%
- Seeing an advertisement for a specific food 41%
- Looking for recipes 36%
- Stress 32%
TOP 5 WAYS AMERICANS DISCOVERED THEIR FAVORITE FOOD PAIRINGS
- Family/friends 41%
- Restaurant 36%
- Social media/print/online news 33%
- Word of mouth 32%
- Celebrity endorsement/advertisement 25%