This question was offered by my very curious and observant son.
Some of our examples... *hot fudge over ice cream *hot, toasted bread with cold chicken salad *hot butternut squash soup with crème fraiche *cool, crisp salad with cooked steak or chicken *cooked fish with cool tarter sauce *hot sushi while sipping cool, unfiltered sake
What are some of your favorites and what's your theory behind this culinary phenomenon?
My favorites. Frozen whipped cream over spicy apple pie, sour cream over spicy Mexican food. The theme seems to be about opposites hot and cool. Hot excites the taste buds and the cool stops it from overloading so that we can do it again.
Contrast is appealing, in food. Think soft brie spread over a crispy cracker. Gooey peanut butter on dry toast. Salty, crunchy nuts with cold, bubbly, sweet soda. It appeases more than one desire at once, and is thus more satisfying and appealing.
Speaking of soft brie... have you ever tried the combination of "Cowgirls Mt. Tam" brie on Croccantini (by LaPanzanella) with Dalmatia fig spread on top? Yum! Or if you don't want sweet, exchange the fig spread for roasted garlic. Mmmm!
Not that I ever got them, but remember McDonald's "Mc D,L,T" (or however it was spelled)? They knew that keeping the cold stuff cold and the hot stuff hot made a better tasting sandwich, so they had some weird packing deal for it, to keep the cold stuff separate. (and then it just disappeared, I guess)
Don't know the exact explanation to this but there is one thing that I have read and have noticed it myself too. That biscuits (sweet ones) will taste sweeter if you wet it even in water. It water with biscuit has some effect on our taste buds, I don't know exactly what