(Family Features) Peanut butter and jelly. Salted caramel. Basil and tomato. There was a time when these deliciously layered flavor combinations didn't exist. Bold snackers of the past reinvented snacking by exploring new flavor combinations that are now common favorites.
Trying something new means making mindful decisions about what cracker is paired with which cheese or drizzled with what sauce, and whether to sprinkle with chocolate, crushed red pepper, kale – or even all three. Get started on trying something new and going outside the box to discover crave-worthy and unique snack pairings with these tips:
Look for ways to combine your favorites. An easy place to start exploring is with flavors you already know and love. Think about your favorite foods and consider new ways to enjoy them together. For example, fruit pairs well with many different foods, such as peanut butter or cheese. Don’t be afraid to get more adventurous by piling on additional flavors, textures and colors for another delicious dimension.
Put a tangy spin on a sweet treat. When your taste buds scream for a sweet indulgence, deliver big with a savory blend. Drizzle dark chocolate and sprinkles of orange peel over a generous spread of The Laughing Cow®’s White Cheddar Flavor on graham crackers. The distinctive tang of this smooth and savory cheese lends a rich, robust flavor so you can simply enjoy great snacking.
Mix flavor profiles. Playing to different tastes can create an explosion of flavor. Experiment with snacks that blend two or more of the primary tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory. There are no rules, so go with what sounds appetizing. If you’re not sure where to start, note that many pairings include a sweet attribute to offset the contrasting taste, so go for sweet and sour, sweet and salty, or sweet and savory. Then look at other combinations that make your mouth water.
Mimic traditional dishes with a mini makeover. Enjoy some of your favorite full-size dishes on a bite-size scale by pairing unexpected ingredients. For example, you can achieve the rich taste of sweet potato casserole with a slice of sweet potato topped with The Laughing Cow Creamy Original Swiss Cheese, a sprinkle of brown sugar and some crushed pecans. For a spicy snack, top tortilla chips with the rich, smoky flavor of The Laughing Cow Queso Fresco Chipotle cheese and a smattering of your favorite toppings, like diced avocado and chopped red pepper.
Season it up. Remember that supporting ingredients can play a big role. A little spice or seasoning can go a long way to transforming a snack. A dash of hot sauce, a squeeze of citrus or a pinch of freshly chopped herbs are all easy ways to bring big flavor changes.
Explore more bold snacking suggestions at thelaughingcow.com.
Main image (couple snacking) courtesy of Getty Images