Have you heard of the **“The Incompatible Food Triad”** problem? This was first introduced formally here by George Hart (father of the now famous Vi Hart). Here’s the statement, taken straight from his website:

*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?*

Hart’s page is full of various suggested solutions, most of which are shot down in one way or another. It’s obviously not a rigorous mathematical question, since much of the success of a solution depends on culturally-defined taste. But it still doesn’t stop us from trying solutions.

pictured above: chocolate and strawberries on a waffle, one suggested pairing. just don’t you dare also add peanut butter!!

Here’s mine. My wife and I sat down to have waffles one weekend and we think we discovered an Incompatible Food Triad: **chocolate, strawberries, and peanut butter**.

**Chocolate & strawberries** obviously taste good together on a waffle.
**Chocolate & peanut butter** also obviously taste good together on a waffle.
**Strawberries & peanut butter** is okay if you think of it like a peanut butter & jelly sandwich (mash the strawberries!)

**But we found that all three did ***not* taste good together on a waffle. A quick web search reveals that people do sometimes eat these three things together, but not on a waffle.Let me make a slightly more rigorous statement of my suggestion then: I claim (chocolate AND waffle), (strawberries AND waffles), and (peanut butter AND waffles) are an incompatible food triad.

Can you see how this is not a very mathematical/scientific question? 🙂

Would you agree with our incompatible food triad? Do you have any other suggested solutions?