The Tastiest Hypothesis

January 27, 2007 at 12:25 PM

This morning, while I was cooking breakfast, my wife confronted me about a few things she found in the sink. "Is this chocolate syrup? Have you been eating ice cream?", she cries.

I sheepishly admitted my guilt, explaining that ice cream with chocolate syrup has an invigorating quality that aids the brain when it's trying to solve nonlinear dynamics problems at 2:30 AM.

A few minutes later, the cry went up again: "Did you eat peanut butter on it, too?!". "No", I replied, "that's cheese, from the omelet I just made".

Peanut butter. Cheese. The appearance of these two foods triggered a distinct memory: the tastiest hypothesis ever posited! My friend Seth Moore once revealed to me some of his family's food-related wisdom.

Say Cheese! Mmmmm... Peanut Butter

The hypothesis goes something like this:

Any food can be made to taste better--or at least "as good" as before--by adding either cheese or peanut butter.

Now, I thought about this for a long time, and I found it very hard to find an exception. On the one hand, cheese is extremely versatile. There are hundreds of types, with a variety of flavors, textures, and scents. Peanut butter, on the other hand, doesn't have as many faces. However, it's equally adaptable: it can enhance most sweet foods, and several savory.

I'd love to hear about food to which this rule doesn't apply, if you can think of any.