Many so-called "rules" are merely suggestions for a civil society and are more often than not based on sense and sensibility.
In an Italian restaurant recently, a friend noticed one of their group heaping dressed salad onto his linguine al fungi. Yes, he's allowed to but had it not occurred to him that he's placing cold onto hot, and that the dressing of the salad would blend nastily into the pasta's sauce and that there was ample time to savour the pasta then cleanse the palate by eating the salad? There's time - it's not the last supper.
We talked about food combos that make us cringe, cringe as cooks, cringe as defenders of food culture and cringe as eaters who think about how things work best.
Italians suggest, no grated cheese (be it Parmesan or Pecorino) on a seafood pasta.
Common sense suggests no side order of chips with a lasagne.
Common sense suggests that bread is not a pre-prandial nibble. (Nice words, 28 October, 2017)
My (French) mother suggested that soup was never served as part of a luncheon menu, unless it was a fish soup. (Whacky, but the concept has served me well.)
Taking more than you can eat and leaving it on the plate for "Mr Manners".
We could add to this list.
But of course, as a Rugged Individualist, you can plough ahead regardless, piling your plate high at a buffet, even though you can change your plate as often as you like. It's not the last supper. And you are free to eat as you choose.
My absolute cringe I witness often, unfortunately. A beautiful cake or the perfect pastry on a pie is slathered too often with pouring of cream, custard (or crème anglaise) all over the TOP. Uuuugh! Horror!
Now, I'm not for a moment suggesting you stint on the cream or custard. Pour on, Macduff. But try this; pour the accompanying sauce lavishly AROUND the cake or tart. As you cut into it, your spoon will scoop up some sauce and both will come together nicely in your mouth, leaving the top of the cake or tart looking still beautiful -not drowned.
What are your food combo cringes?