REVIEW: Hybrid Foods

This post was first published as part of Brittany’s Catalyst blogging residency, ‘The Two Review’ with fellow student Alexandra McManus. The Two Review offered a unique double review of all things MelbourneBelow, however are just Brittany’s parts of the post.

Summary: They’re the latest foodie trend taking over our cities bakeries, but are these hybrid foods the greatest inventions or best left alone?



The Two Review: 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.

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

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

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.