Anyone can throw ground beef on a pizza and call it a cheeseburger pizza. But a good mash-up deconstructs two or more dishes and deliciously marries their essences to create something entirely unprecedented. We took a look back at some of the more notable food mash-ups that have been passing across tables over the past 30 years.
(Photo by ccho via Flickr)
The harbinger responsible for the current fascination toward food hybrids still pervading today’s culture, when chef Dominique Ansel’s eponymous SoHo, Manhattan bakery debuted this croissant-donut hybrid in May 2013, buzz got around fast. Three days after its debut, his shop had a line of 100 customers waiting to try the treat, and soon a Craigslist black-market had scalpers charging up to $100 for just one of the carefully deep fried, flakey treats, and a grand for 20. Two years later, tourists and regulars still line up half a block to try the treat, and the restaurant offers a different flavour with the change of every month.
Three months after the Cronut exploded into public consciousness, another NYC fusion – this time in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhood – attracted its own giant lineups: the ramen burger. Created by Keizo Shimamoto, it sandwiched a beef patty between two ramen noodle buns. Slathered in a secret Shoyu sauce, the juices from the patty soaked into the noodles, offering an experience of the Japanese noodle soup you could put in your hands, while delivering an eastern spin on a western classic.
Then Alidoro, another SoHo café, was offering a mash-up. This time combining donuts and cannolis for a doughy spin on a classic Italian pastry, the Donnoli never took off like Ansel’s Cronut creation, but it sure won over our approval.
This San Francisco mash-up has surely suffered the disapproval of many a traditional sushi chef and others crying crass colonialism, but it’s also perfect for sushi lovers with AYCE appetites and no patience for chopsticks.
(Photo by JohnnyMrNinja via Flickr)
Also known as a “Luther Burger,” this update on an American classic does away with traditional hamburger buns in favour of sweet, sticky donuts. Packing bacon and a fried egg between two original glazed Krispy Kremes, CNE vendor Epic Burgers and Waffles has presented a 1,550-calory version of the dish to adventurous Toronto eaters since 2011.
REUBEN EGG ROLL
Sometimes called “Irish egg rolls,” hatched in a German restaurant, typically served with thousand island dressing, and housing corned beef, sauerkraut, and cheese inside Chinese egg roll wrappers, Reuben egg rolls collide so many culinary worlds they couldn’t have come from anywhere but America. You can thank Dennis Wegner, who first created them at Milwaukee, Wisconsin German restaurant Mader’s around 1990 for a festival.
Another mash-up for the CNE masses, this creation was actually more comfort food collision than salacious mingling, placing a deep-fried spaghetti patty atop a meatball patty, complete with marinara sauce in place of ketchup. Innocent? You be the judge.
Caesar garnishes were already approaching appetizer proportions; this variation just decided to commit.
(Main photo by jpellgen via Flickr)