From the Endless Simmer Inbox: How to Avoid Unfortunate Culinary Fusions

Prego sauce

ES Inbox is an occasional occurrence when a reader sends us a question and we have no fucking idea what the answer is. Please helps us look good by providing guidance in the comments.

Dear lovely ES crew,

I need some help. My husband and I just moved and are living with my wonderful in-laws while we get our feet on the ground in a new city. We’re so fortunate to have their support! I’d been doing a lot of the cooking around here until I took an evening shift job, and now my father-in-law puts together a lot of meals. The other night, my husband texted me at work: his father had paired a jarred generic “Indian curry” sauce with sliced-up pre-cooked garlic & sun-dried tomato chicken sausage.

Woah there.

Similar unfortunate culinary fusions have taken place when he’s cooking, and we’re having trouble helping him understand the concept that certain flavors and foods *belong* together, and others… don’t. We’re trying to be gracious, but I don’t think I could handle another episode of last night’s sweet-and-sour chicken cut up and simmered in Prego.

We’re looking for a simple way to help teach him about regional flavors and foods that “go” together without being total assholes about it. Can you help? My husband and I (and my mother-in-law!!!) thank you in advance!