Remember your first encounter with an unusual flavour/ingredient-combination that threw you off? We’ve all been there. Examples of combinations we’ve grown accustomed to that sometimes made us go: ‘Why didn’t I think of that?!’ include: roast pork and apple; peanut butter and jelly; chilli and chocolate; candied bacon; and most recently, bubble tea topped with cream cheese. Most, if not all, of our behaviours, attitudes, preferences, and even prejudices are learned. We learn them through socialising with others — our parents, grandparents, teachers, neighbours and random people we meet. People who grew up in a culture that feasts on chicken with chocolate sauce wouldn’t consider it weird, but we might.
Queer by definition is whatever is at odds with (socially-constructed) norms. People who do not
conform to gender stereotypes may experience disapproval and even ridicule. However, just like the now widely accepted chilli-and-chocolate combination, we must drop preconceived notions about how someone is supposed to be and who someone is supposed to love. Instead, we can take intentional steps to unlearn deep-seated beliefs about gender and sexual orientation.
Here’s a recipe featuring unconventional ingredient combinations that work surprisingly well together - especially delicious as a topping for toast and crackers.
Baked Brie with Honey, Bacon, Thyme, Walnuts, and Pawpaw
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 2 tablespoons of dried pawpaw, diced (approximately 2-3 pieces, from the bulk foods section)
- 5 pieces of walnuts, whole (from the bulk foods section)
- 1 slice of bacon (chopped into small bits)
- 1 wheel of brie cheese (I used the Mainland Special Reserve Double Cream Brie)
1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a small baking dish (enough to fit the cheese wheel) with baking
2) In a small pot, add honey, thyme, diced pawpaw, walnuts, and bacon bits, and simmer for
about 5 minutes over low heat.
3) Place brie in baking dish. Arrange pawpaw and walnuts on top of the brie and pour only half
the amount of honey over, leaving the remaining bacon and honey aside for later.
4) Bake for 10 minutes - the cheese should be soft and will ooze out when cut into.
5) To serve, place brie on a plate, drizzle with remaining hot honey syrup, and top with bacon
6) Serve with toast or crackers.
Melissa Koh is a third year BA student double majoring in Culinary Arts and English & New Media. Follow her dining and cooking adventures on Instagram: @melicacy.