The Two Review: ‘Melbourne from A to B’ – Hybrid Foods
Have you ever wondered what your two favourite foods would taste like together? It seems you’re not alone, with hybrid foods becoming the latest foodie trend in bakeries and restaurants worldwide. But do they top the original, or are they better left alone? The Two accepted to taste some of the most popular hybrids (a completely self-set challenge), and answer this very question.
A: The cronut
Two of the most beloved sweets – croissants and doughnuts – are put together to make the cronut. You can find The New Yorker at Café Cavallini in Clifton Hill, where they’re marketed as an inspiration from the American cronut. I bought one myself as opposed to attempting to recreate it at home. As I mentioned in our first post, baking isn’t my strong point. They are coated in cinnamon sugar and pink icing, with a filling of jam and custard cream around a buttery croissant shaped doughnut. It feels like a dessert that has too much going on, though. Croissants and cinnamon/jam doughnuts are amazing on their own. Let’s keep it that way.
The verdict: 2.5 hybrids
B: The ice cream cake
They’ll probably revoke my Australian citizenship for saying this, but to me, ice cream cake is a crime against nature. There's something about this original hybrid food that I just cannot get my head around. Do I love ice cream? Yes. Do I love cake? Most definitely. I even enjoy eating ice cream and cake together, but the idea of ice cream AS a cake horrifies me. It’s such false advertising. There is no cake involved – it’s just ice cream in the shape of a cake. While the ice cream flavours themselves are delicious, I cannot get over the misleading name and nature of this dessert. You can have my slice.
The verdict: 2 hybrids
A: Wedgenachos / Wedgachos
Wedgenachos are nachos made with the usual: tomato salsa, melted cheese, sour cream and guacamole. Except they’re not made on corn chips, they’re made on wedges instead. They were very simple to make: deep fry/oven cook the wedges and then put all the ingredients on top and pop it under the grill
for five to 10 minutes. My not-so-secret guacamole is a smashed avocado, the juice of a lime and a pinch of salt and pepper. The presentation of the wedgenachos was very good, but they didn’t have the same crunch or saltiness that corn chips have. So I decided that regular nachos are preferred over wedgenachos. Despite their tastiness, I would still make the regular over the hybrid concoction.
The verdict: 3.5 hybrids
B: The chouxmacas
These are probably as hard to find as it is to meet Michael Schumacher himself. Currently only available at Sydney’s Zumbo Patisserie, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a pop up shop at The Cullen Hotel’s Gramercy Bistro. There are three flavours available: peanut butter and jelly, blueberry pancakes and maple syrup, and lemon meringue. I opt for lemon meringue. My first impression is that it’s a rather obscure and ugly looking dessert. A choux pastry ball with half a macaroon stuck on top – what’s all the fuss about? I obviously forgot who I was dealing with – this is Adriano Zumbo, king of desserts after all – and cutting the chouxmaca in half reveals a wonderful surprise. Oozing out of the choux pastry is a fragrant lemon curd and meringue. The lemon curd is deliciously tangy, and the meringue gooey and sweet as it should be. The Macaroon top adds a bit of crunch but while the choux holds it all together, it gets lost amongst the other flavours. It’s a nice novelty (and certainly has the best hybrid name) but there’s just too much going on and I’d rather eat all the elements separately. The lemon curd is to die for though, and I could eat it by itself – all day, every day.
The verdict: 3 hybrids
A: The ice cream chocolate bar
Two sweets – Turkish Delight chocolate bars and ice cream – have come together to make Turkish Delight Bars (frozen, I might add). They’re sweet, they’re cold, they’re in the formation of a bar – what’s not to love?! This is a hybrid that has enhanced the original makes, and they’re much better off together. With a chocolate exterior much like a choc top, the inside is filled with Turkish Delight flavoured ice cream and a layer of the same flavoured jelly. They are absolutely delicious and I’m already having my second one for the night. I think it’s safe to say I prefer them together than separate. They’re a must try and are available at all supermarkets.
The verdict: 4.5 hybrids
B: The cheesecake brownie
I have a serious sweet tooth. What I really mean by this is that my life revolves around dessert. Cheesecake and chocolate brownies are quite possibly my two most favourite things in the world, so when I spotted these bad boys in the counter at Mr Tulk, it was like all my Christmases had come at once. A moist chocolate brownie with swirls of cheesecake certainly solves the problem of having to decide between the two. While the flavours work very well together (and pretty fairly priced at $4), I’m struggling at the halfway point because it’s just too rich. On principle though, I won’t be defeated by a brownie and I slowly manage to finish it, feeling a bit worse for wear. The cheesecake brownie proves that while your favourite desserts can taste delicious together, for your health’s sake, they’re probably best left alone.
The verdict: 3.5 hybrids
It seems that while hybrid foods may have very punny names, sadly most are successful purely because of their novelty. We’re still hopeful that the perfect hybrid exists out there somewhere though, which is why we won’t give up trying them quite yet.
Fancy trying/making some hybrids of your own? Check out our favourite recipe picks:
After all the food and drink we’ve been reviewing and with summer just around the corner, it’s probably time The Two worked up a sweat in some physical activity. We’ll be trying out an unusual form of exercise that even promises to defy the laws of science. To find out what that is (and how it's possible), check out The Two Review next Saturday.