Food Mash-Ups: The Most Popular Combos of the (Dying?) Craze

| October 31, 2013 | 0 Comments
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A sampling of cronuts. Did the croissant-donut start the food mash-up craze? Photo: Kelly O'Mara

A sampling of cronuts. Did the croissant-donut start the food mash-up craze? Photo: Kelly O’Mara

It’s hard to say which came first in food mash-up history: the Cronut or the Doritos Loco Taco. Both paved the way for people to start throwing together foods and calling it innovation. Partially, it’s simply out of necessity. Snack food makers introduce 2,000 new products every year, according the the Wall Street Journal, and they’re running out of ideas. Partially, food mash-ups are simply a craze whose time may be coming to an end.

Chicken waffle tenders? Done. Donut breakfast sandwiches? Done. Waffle tacos? Done. Pop-Tart ice cream sandwiches? Done, though that actually sounds pretty good.

Here are some of the most popular and tastiest sounding mash-ups.

Before the Cronut combined two sweet breakfast items, there was a Thanksgiving treat that combined not two, but three dinner entrees. The Turducken is a feat of food engineering wizardy: a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. While you can buy Turducken already made, you can also try to make your own using this Paula Deen recipe.

The cross-section of a turducken. Photo: Jessica and Lon Binder/Flickr

The cross-section of a turducken. Photo: Jessica and Lon Binder/Flickr

When it comes to desserts, there’s virtually no mash-up that can go badly. Throw together some sweets and call it something new. Putting Oreos in things is particularly hot right now, because who doesn’t like Oreos? You can make cookies with Oreos baked inside. Or, stick a Reese’s inside an Oreo and cover the whole thing in chocolate and create Reese’s stuffed Oreos.

Reese's stuffed Oreos have to be tasty. Photo: Cookies and Cups

Reese’s stuffed Oreos have to be tasty. Photo: Cookies and Cups

The Bay Area has had its own food mash-ups. Around here the ramen burger, a burger with two buns made of ramen noodles, was on the menu at Nombe long before it became a hot New York item that people lined up down the block for. Now, the food truck pop-up restaurant Hapa Ramen has come along and created an even more intense mash-up: cheeseburger ramen soup.

The Ramen Burger. Photo: sneurgaonkar/Flickr

The Ramen Burger. Photo: sneurgaonkar/Flickr

San Francisco is also home to the red velvet fried chicken — fried chicken in red velvet cake batter and covered in red velvet crumbs. American Cupcake, whose most famous item is the red velvet fried chicken, is making its name with odd food mash-ups that capitalize on the current craze, like cupcake pancakes and candy apple ribs.

Red velvet fried chicken at American Cupcake. Photo: atomic girl nyc/Flickr

Red velvet fried chicken at American Cupcake. Photo: atomic girl nyc/Flickr

The Bay Area is even home to a lesser-known tasty mash-up. The chinito, a Chinese burrito, was created by Mission Chinese Food. The chinito, which comes vegan or with Peking duck, is a Chinese donut stuffed with vegetables and meat and then wrapped in a rice noodle. Sounds gross, but it’s supposed to be delicious.

Has the mash-up craze reached its end? Or, will we be cursed/blessed with many more tasty and strange combinations?

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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, dessert and chocolate, food trends and technology, recipes, san francisco, street food and fast food

About the Author ()

Kelly O'Mara is a writer and reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes about food, health, sports, travel, business and California news. Her work has appeared on KQED, online for Outside Magazine and in Competitor Magazine, among others.