The Incompatible Food Triad

Last week, Jason Kottke (That’s Mr. Megnut to some of us) posted about the The Incompatible Food Triad.

Can you find three foods such that all three do not go together (by any reasonable definition of foods “going together”) but every pair of them does go together?

There are many ways to interpret this “going together” but an example solution would be three pizza toppings—A, B, and C—such that a pizza with A and B is good, and a pizza with A and C is good, and a pizza with B and C is good, but a pizza with A, B, and C is bad. Or you might find three different spices or other ingredients which do not go together in some recipe yet any pair of them is fine.

People have offered several solutions, none of which satisfy my own interpretation of the premise.

Migrating to moles for a solution is an incorrect approach, as a mole as there are so many different recipes for moles, even ones that are chocolate based, that it would be hard to prove that every one was inconsistent. And using a drink recipe is an incorrect approach, as it’s technically not a “food”.

When thinking of this, my mind has been migrating to both chocolate and cayenne pepper as two ingredients, but haven’t been able to come up with a logical third. Graham crackers, pecans, and marshmallows have all seemed less than perfect as the third ingredient.

Do any of you chefs and amateur molecular gastronomists care to take a whack at this?