I've been exposed to one too many buffets of late, and it's not been pretty. I say exposed, because dining at a buffet should come with the same level of health warning as tanning shops and cigarettes. Your body is put to the test with as yet untested food combinations to which even the most hardy of stomachs would struggle.
Why is it, that upon seeing a buffet, we completely disregard our life's worth of known food pairings and think that it is absolutely acceptable to mix and match without any consideration or consequence?
I was at a buffet the other day where I found myself pairing some sushi with a shepherds pie. I mean, WTF? Who in their right mind would ever walk in to a sushi restaurant with the intent of mixing tuna sashimi with minced lamb? But no, at a buffet it's fine to mash up a delicate salmon hand roll with some Bisto infused mashed potato and diced carrots.
And as for the Chinese section. Sweet and sour pork *only* ever works with stir-fried rice, however when in buffet mode it's apparently fine to mix with a lobster salad and a slice of quiche Lorraine.
Orders of courses also become strangely blurred at the buffet cart. Feel like starting with a chocolate log and then moving on to a chicken liver pate? Why the hell not. Fancy a mid course meringue with a slice of blue cheese? Go for it. Want to end with a tomato gazpacho topped with a devilled egg? What's stopping you, it's a buffet after all.
NO people NO! Stop yourselves. Why lose all sense of self-control and mutate into buffet munching morons who see nothing wrong in mixing a fish stew with a strawberry pavlova and half a lager shandy. If I tried to serve up any of these combinations at a dinner party my guests would have a field day at mocking my miss matched meal. But the same guests would not think a jiffy about it at an all you can eat chow down.
Good people. You're worth more than this. Fine to fill your boots but just remember it's probably all going to come back up after you've done a loop of the dancefloor at the back end of the conga line later on that night. You have been warned.