13 Weird Food Moments That Defined 2014, From Spreadable Beer to Bacon Mac and Cheese Donuts
2014 has been quite an interesting year for food, and especially weird food hybrids, with everyone from food bloggers to local bakeries to international chains taking it upon themselves to combine all different kinds of cuisines. In the last 12 months, it feels like we’ve seen pretty much every kind of hybrid possible — from Starbucks' beer-flavored Dark Barrel Latte to “Nutellasagna” to the new croissant/bagel fusion, the Cragel. Oh, and let’s not forget the recent, ever-growing trend of stuffing seemingly everything — and I mean, everything — into donuts (I’m talking about you, Ramnut).
In honor of this, er, newfound inventiveness, we’re taking a look back at some of the wackiest and most unforgettable food and drink combos of the year. Some of these food hybrids actually sound pretty delicious; others... well, let’s just say that some things really aren’t meant to go together. But these fusions all have one thing in common — whether they taste good or not, they are all definitely creative.
So which of these creations do you think you’d actually want to try, and which would you rather take a pass on? Check out 13 of the most memorable food moments from 2014, and decide for yourself!
Brooklyn-based bakery Robicelli’s blew everyone’s mind by unveiling one of the most delicious-sounding food hybrids of the year: Nutellasagna, aka Nutella and lasagna. The creation consists of a mix of lasagna noodles, cannoli custard, Nutella, chopped chocolate, roasted nuts, and toasted homemade marshmallows. Apparently, Robicelli’s began selling it over the summer and — to no one’s surprise — it was in such high demand that the establishment brought it back for the holiday season.
Want to try it for yourself? New Yorkers are in luck, as the bakery will deliver to Manhattan, Brooklyn, and select parts of Long Island and Queens. The bakery also sells the creation in half tray versions (for 10 to 15 people) for $65, or full-trays (15 to 24 people) for $120.
Doritos Crunchy Crust Pies
In December, Pizza Hut Australia confirmed that it “spent months developing” the recipe for Doritos-Crusted Pies (although from what I can gather from the photos, it doesn’t seem to involve any particularly special ingredients and mostly just seems like chips stuck to an especially cheesy crust). According to the original description, the crust consists of mozzarella layered with Doritos and finished off with a sprinkling of cheddar.
Image: Pizza Hut Australia/Facebook
Back in November, it was confirmed that Doritos-flavored Mountain Drew not only exists, but it could also actually be hitting shelves soon. A Reddit user posted a photo of the bizarre concoction, causing the Internet to practically implode over the possibility. Pepsi confirmed that it was testing the fusion drink by giving students at colleges and universities across the country a chance to try samples. There’s still no word on whether the company will actually release the drink to the rest of the public.
Nutella-Flavored Ice Cream
This summer, Carvel partnered with Ferrero to launch an ice cream version of everyone’s favorite chocolate hazelnut spread. In addition to Nutella-flavored soft-serve ice cream, the chain also offered four different kinds of Nutella sundaes, which featured a variety of yummy toppings, like chocolate crunchies, banana slices, whipped cream, and — what else? — more Nutella on top of the soft serve. Sadly, the limited edition desserts were only available at the ice cream chain locations across the nation from June 30 until September 30.
Early this summer, it was revealed that a company called Friends Fun Wine had invented the world’s first ever drink that combines both coffee and wine, all in one single can. The drink comes in one red wine variety and one white, called Cabernet Coffee Espresso and Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino. The first features a “rich flavor of fresh Cabernet grapes, espresso coffee, and a hint of chocolate,” while the latter consists of “sweet, refreshing Chardonnay grapes with vanilla cappuccino coffee and smooth hints of chocolate.”
Each drink reportedly contains about 6 percent alcohol and is sold in 8.4-ounce slim cans. I still say if you’re gonna mix caffeine and alcohol, go with an Irish coffee… but hey, to each their own.
Image: Friends Fun Wine
What replaced the cronut as one of the new hottest food hybrids this year? The Cragel, created by Scot Rossillo of Brooklyn-based bakery The Bagel Shop. The mash-up is half croissant and half bagel, and is described as having “all of the characteristics of a bagel with the delicate flaky taste and texture of a croissant.”
Don’t live in New York? No problem. You can order them online — but don’t expect to get a dozen, like you would normal bagels. There’s a limit of six per customer.
Image: The Bagel Shop
Bacon Mac And Cheese Donuts
Bacon mac and cheese is delicious enough on its own, but apparently, Philadelphia-based burger establishment PYT thought it needed an extra kick. So what did they do? Stuffed it in a donut, obviously. According to PYT’s website, the creation consists of a “warm glazed donut studded with cheesy, bacon-y mac & cheese, topped with crumbled bacon.”
PYT Burger, which specializes in unconventional burger combinations, came up with another wacky creation this year: the Doh! Nut (a name Homer Simpson fans can appreciate). The $13 creation consists of a glazed donut topped with bacon on the outside, and stuffed with a beef patty and American cheese on the inside. What will these guys think of next?!
Image: PYT Burger/Facebook;
While we’re talking about the whole adding-weird-things-to-donuts trend, behold the Ramnut, which combines — yup, you guessed it — ramen and donuts. Invented by Josh Scherer of Culinary Bro-Down, this creation hasn’t actually been made available to the public, although he did post the recipe online and encouraged readers to try it. You can even use your preferred choice of frosting, fillings, and toppings. Scherer displayed different flavors of Ramnuts, from Boston cream to jelly.
Think you like beer with everything? How about on toast? That’s right — Birra Spalmabile literally translates to “spreadable beer,” and it’s now officially a real thing, thanks to Italian brewery Alta Quota and the chocolate company Napoleone. Per the description, the product contains “40 percent beer” and has a “sticky yet smooth texture.” Though the spread has apparently been around since 2012, this year was the first time it became available for purchase on the website Firebox. I don’t know about you, but I think I’d rather just go to happy hour and get my beer in a glass.
Dark Barrel Latte
Forget the pumpkin spice lattes. Earlier this fall, Starbucks also tested a beer-flavored coffee drink called the Dark Barrel Latte. The nonalcoholic beverage includes a chocolaty, stout-flavored sauce, whipped cream, and dark caramel drizzle, and was tested in some locations in Ohio and Florida. According to the reactions on Twitter, testers agreed it really did taste like beer, but the drink earned mixed reviews otherwise. So far, it hasn’t been tested in other markets.
These snacks were released at local 7-Elevens everywhere in July. Described as “inside-out nachos,” the orange nuggets are essentially comprised of nacho cheese encrusted in a Dorito-meal crust. Each set of four nuggets only costs about $1.99 — but as you probably guessed, only four of these babies is enough to take up your entire calorie intake for the day.
Mexican Flavor Fiesta Pizza Pies
In case the Doritos crust wasn’t enough for you, Pizza Hut also took it upon itself to marry its pies with Mexican food this year. Last month, their New Zealand branch launched what it called its “Mexican Flavor Fiesta” menu, consisting of three different kinds of pizza: The Burrito Pizza topped with mild chili beans, burrito sauce, onion, red bell peppers, jalapenos, chili flakes, and mozzarella; The Ultimate Mexican Pizza topped with tortilla chips, mild chili beans, onion, red bell peppers, jalapenos, tomato, burrito sauce, chili flakes, and mozzarella; and The Quesadilla Pizza, which features beef, onion, jalapeno, burrito sauce, chili flakes, and mozzarella sandwiched between two crusts.
Image: Pizza Hut NZ/Facebook