As Jaffa Cake-donut hybrid hits shelves – unusual food fusions that might be better than the originals
From bars and mini rolls to avant-garde new flavours, Jaffa Cakes have crammed plenty of innovation into their 94-year history.
Next off the production line is the Jonut – a donut-shaped crossover cake with a thick layer of sponge and a familiar orange filling, that will hit Tesco’s shelves from May 16 and other retailers from the end of June.
It’s not the first product to attempt to incorporate donuts (looking at you, cronut) and strange food fusion is already a well-trodden road. Here are a few other unusual entries, which have (mostly) improved on their originals….
An amalgam of croissant and muffin – linguistically and literally – the humble cruffin started attracting mainstream attention in the mid-2010s, after it was popularised and trademarked by the Mr Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco. Basically a croissant with structural integrity and a central chamber for fillings, cinnamon cruffins especially have since become an artisanal mainstay.
Perhaps the ultimate template for food fusions you’d find on the snack rack, these chocolate and peanut-butter candies are just starting to conquer the European market after explosive success in America. The debate over whether they are in fact ‘better than the original’ still rages online, and we’re not nearly brave enough to pick a side.
Marmite Rice Cakes
Combining a cracker with a condiment shouldn’t really upend any worldviews, but where Marmite goes, controversy follows. Marmite and Rice Cakes at least belong in the same supermarket aisle, but the makers of Marmite have a history of heretical, if headline-grabbing collabs.
Marmite hummus, Marmite popcorn, Marmite cashews, Marmite cheese slices, Marmite pork sausages, Marmite hot cross buns… no foodstuff is safe. In a cross-genre collaboration nobody was asking for, there was even Marmite deodorant a few years back. Won’t somebody please think of the children.
We don’t understand why so many of life’s pleasures are presented as either/or. The refined mind likes cats and dogs, Marvel and DC, red wine and white. So it is in that spirit that we present Yuenyeung: a popular Hong Kong beverage that’s a mix of coffee and tea, and saves those in need of a caffeine hit making any tricky drinks decisions at all.
For Valentine’s Day just gone, we were treated to a limited-edition set of Lay’s Wavy Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips. Just think about that: Crisps plus chocolate. Sadly they weren’t in stores and their lucky eaters had to win them in a giveaway. But that doesn’t stop us loving the idea – and if mixed sweet-and-salty popcorn can work (and it can), so can this.
Pickle Ice Cream
Ice cream feels like a natural place to experiment, but pickle is the sort of seasoning you’d expect from the magical Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans in Harry Potter. This apparently delicious desert was all the rage in New York a couple of years ago, and while we can’t claim to be totally convinced, we’re happy to believe it’s still better than eating an actual pickle.
We’re including this monstrosity (yes, we have strong views on this…) as a friendly(ish) reminder of what can go wrong. Invented by Canadian cook Sam Panopoulos at his Ontario restaurant in 1963, this dish divides people like few others.
In 2017, Icelandic premier Gudni Johannesson famously said that if he had the power, he would pass a law banning pineapple on pizza (he didn’t have the power), while Gordon Ramsey slammed the topping in predictably unprintable terms. Pineapple pizza lovers – for we know there are some of you out there: just accept this is a food fusion experiment too far.