Hybrid dishes and foodmanteaus

From the 7/12/14 Economist, this feature: “Matches made in heaven—and hell: What do you get if you cross a waffle with a doughnut? It’s no joke”, beginning:

Not all marriages are happy, but Alex Hernandez thinks that the union of a waffle and a doughnut will be. The owner of Waffles Café in Chicago starting selling what he calls “wonuts” in April. They are deep-fried waffles, topped with icing and multicoloured sprinkles (see photo). Daily sales went from 24 to 600 within two days.

Ah, the foodmanteau wonut. Referring to a hybrid food:

The Economist continues:

Hybrid dishes are fashionable. The wonut follows the cronut, a croissant-donut combination that was invented in New York last year and is now being fried and munched in Taiwan, South Korea, Brazil, Britain — and even France, where you’d think diners would be fussier. [On cronuts on this blog, see here and here.]

Many countries indulge in culinary mixing, but Americans, who love both novelty and food, are especially keen on it. Burger King’s Croissan’Wich is a croissant-sandwich mix. Taco Bell’s quesarito is a beef burrito wrapped in a quesadilla. [The Quesarito on this blog here.] J&D’s Foods produces Baconnaise, bacon-flavoured mayonnaise that is, oddly, vegetarian and kosher-certified. Carl’s Jr is testing a bisnut, a cross between a biscuit (in the American sense of the word) and a doughnut. Not everyone is impressed.

… Such innovation has a long history. Blacks who migrated north after the Civil War served African-spiced fried chicken with European waffles. [On chicken and waffles on this blog, see here.] In the 1910s, Americans drenched German frankfurters with Mexican chili to make chili dogs. More recently, New Yorkers drew on the collective genius of generations of Jewish and Italian cooks to produce: the pizza bagel.

There are hybrid foods resulting from cultural contact, which typically have syntactically complex names (coordinate in chicken and waffles, compound in chili dog). And there are invented hybrids, which typically are given “clever” — hopefully, memorable — portmanteau names (like wonut) as a selling point.

On a separate front, if you look at recent developments in the worlds of bagels and doughnuts, you’ll see that though the constituent breadstuffs continue to differ clearly (though there are several styles in both cases), the toppings for them have been inclined to cross over in sometimes surprising ways: bagels with many kinds of sweet toppings, doughnuts with a variety of seed toppings. The result is still more kinds of sweet foods; Americans do like sweet.

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