Fruit and Meat - What's your say?

It’s something I ask a lot of people - do you like the combination of sweet and savoury? I, for one, being the adventurous sort, enjoy a lot of ingredient pairings that would seem weird to many. But to make things a little interesting, let’s start with a question that’s sharply polarised much of the foodie community. Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Continuing from there, is there any other fruit/fruit-based sauce that you think should or should not go with roast chicken or a steak? If I were to mention a dish like orange-glazed pork ribs would the very thought of it make your mouth water or would it make you cringe?

Hit the comments! :smiley:

If the flavours work well together, then why not. Some have an affinity with each other. I’m rather fond of dark fruit compotes/sauces (with port or sherry) and game meats.

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The combination of fruit and meat is very traditional here in Northern Europe. The record of it goes back centuries. So, I suppose you can say that there are combos that are tried and trusted. Pork and apple. Duck and orange. Ham and redcurrant. Mackerel and gooseberry. Blackberry and venison

But there are other combos that are tried that don’t seem “right” to me. But it is not for me to say what and how other people should eat. So, yeah, put pineapple on a pizza if it pleases you - but don’t expect me to eat it.


I love sweet/savoury.

I’ll add prunes and dried apricots to Harter’s list. One of the most succulent pieces of pork I’ve ever eaten was a roast stuffed with both, then braised.

Then there’s the raisins, sultanas, prunes, and apricots that appear in North African tajines and couscous, and raisins and olives in Cuban picadillo (a fave at my house).

And yes, pineapple on my pizza. My local Marcos makes their Hawaiian with the usual ham and pineapple, but they add grilled chicken and bacon. Its delicious, and Marcos will make my pizza with no cheese one side foe me.


I quite often do a pork fillet dish with one or the other of these. Slit the fillet down it’s length and open it up like a book, before batting it out a bit thinner. I then lay sliced prune or apricot and sliced garlic down the length, before tying it back up. A quick roast follows. Actually works to moisten what can be a dryish cut of piggy.

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Besides the suggestion above, rhubarb as a tart element, works quite well with pork.
Pork and pineapple works in creole pineapple ham.

Scandinavian cuisines use a lot of lingonberries from meatballs, bacons to herrings.

Looks like there is some cheese fruit fun combination:

I’ve tried different fruit with pork over the years. Prunes, apricots, cherries, orange. I liked them all well enough but I always wind up back with apples.

We had leftover ham from Easter and my husband decided to make a ham & pineapple pizza. Pizza sauce with ham just didn’t do it for me. Never mind the pineapple.

Italian sausage pairs well with grapes. Thanks Lidia.

A favorite is a Chicken Cordon Bleuish dish with currant jelly/red wine sauce. A match made in heaven.

Mrs. P likes to add various fresh fruits to her quail salad depending on the season. It makes for a nice savory and sweet combination. The below quail salad was taken last summer and included fresh figs, grilled pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, along with arugula, sharp cheddar, sauteed red onions, in a teriyaki glaze. The fresh shaved sharp cheddar was applied after the picture was taken.

In the winter she mainly uses grapes and adds delicata squash with a reduced balsamic syrup.


I like generally sweet and savory, but have been more anti-fruit and meat together. I’ve been more open to trying that in the last few years, but I think I’m still somewhat picky about the combinations. Generally, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with combinations that I was hesitant about which is why I won’t completely dismiss it until I’ve tried it.

Certain meats pair very well with fruit (duck being a great example, pork and pineapple or figs) and I tend to favor fruits that have more tartness to it to bring more of that acidity into the pairing too. I don’t like overly sweet things, so as long as that has been tempered in the fruit pairing I’m good. But I always have a knee-jerk reaction that fruit+meat must mean too sweet.

One poor fruit that I don’t think I’ve had successfully combined with meats – grapes. It just really hasn’t worked for me. I don’t even like them on my salad, but I’m fine with grapes on their own.

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Gammon and pineapple is a British pub classic.

At home, I spin it into a pineapple salsa - the pineapple taking the place of tomatoes but other of the “usual” salsa ingredients remianing the same.

The recipe for Belgian meatballs may still be free on Milk Street Radio 's site. It was featured last week. They are beef and pork, made with seeded rye bread for the panade, and a glaze made from prune puree and beef broth. On my to do list!
EDITED TO ADD:à-la-liégeoise

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I can’t see the recipe but I make it sometimes so I know it already. The major flavour of fruit comes from the pear and apple syrup produced in Liege. In addition to that there are also raisins. No prunes.

A speciality of Liege and the dish is eaten with fries/chips.

More like a paste than syrup

Gee, it says the recipe is free till May 26. I’m.not registered with.them and can see it on my tablet. Maybe you aren’t scrolling down far enough. On the radio, they said they used prunes because they are ubiquitous in the USA and well approximated the flavor of the traditional paste. I can imagine that it does, since fruit butters with deep caramelization tend to have a similar tannic undertone not unlike that of prunes and raisins.

Beautiful salad!

Thank you @Salsailsa !

Generally I don’t like fruit in my savory foods at all- keep the dried cranberries out of my salad please and thank you. But, i had a dish a few years back where there were roasted concord grapes that had a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper in a grain salad thing with nuts and that was surprisingly good. I’ve since done roasted red grapes a few times and they’re great.

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Try the grapes roasted and pair with smoked meat -smoked turkey, ham, smoked pork chop…

I like to bake or pan-roast chicken parts, scattering grapes, grape tomatoes, whole pitted olives, and blanched pearl onions in the pan, so they partially melt into the meat juices. The more color variety, the better. It makes for added eye appeal and good flavor.


Prosciutto and melon is a classic combination.

Yes to ham and pineapple pizza.