The dating website that currently has me as a member has a number of phrases that loop continually on its homepage:
Where bat met ball
Where salt met pepper
Where gin met tonic
The implication being that for any ingredient there is some perfect and complimentary match out there (and perhaps subliminally reminding us of When Harry Met Sally). This is perhaps a smart move, for as you read the profiles of other users there is a word that comes up time and time again. Chemistry. The expectation that two people, either as a result of commonality, or perhaps difference, will react positively towards each other.
Hang on. Commonality or difference? How can that be? Surely you must seek one or the other?
It’s hard to say. I have great rapport with a friend who is 11 years younger than me, unlikely on the face of it, but we work in similar fields, have an appreciation of art and creativity (albeit through very different strains) and have a habit of finding coincidences within our otherwise disparate lives. Which is the key component of our friendship? If only it was so easy.
I had a conversation with a Vampire Queen (a user name rather than a hereditary title!) this week, a fellow member of the website, and though we are unlikely to meet given the distance between us we had an enjoyable chat which began with yet another dichotomy; her profile states that she values both sexiness and celibacy. Initially I considered these mutually exclusive, but then perhaps I needed a different metaphor to help me understand. As she also gave me the title of today’s piece it seemed appropriate to follow her theme.
I enjoy cooking, but infrequently follow recipes. Over the years I’ve developed a knowledge of ingredients that work together, that have chemistry if you like. Pork and apple, tomato and basil, rice and peas, are pretty well-known, but what about strawberries and pepper, Stilton with sweet mince, chilli chocolate? These are all combinations that might once have raised an eyebrow but perhaps due to our constant diet of TV food programmes they don’t seem so outlandish.
Looking to use up a little pastry in my refrigerator, I turned to a classic combination; prosciutto and mozzarella, perhaps familiar to us as common pizza ingredients, and commonly served together as an appetizer in Italy, but what of another flavour? Salty ham, cool soft cheese, fruity fig? Served raw they would work, but did they have the chemistry for an easily assembled tart? You’ll have to decide.
As with finding a suitable date, it’s a matter of taste.