Thursday, February 27, 2014

9 Weird Food Mash-Ups in the U.S.

Actually, I don’t know if these are unique to us or not.  And I know other places have their own share of food oddities (don’t look over your shoulders, Brit friends – I am talking about you – prawn crisps?  Really?).  But some of the stuff we do to and with our food in the United States is downright scary.  My own list:

1. Mashed potato sandwich – just how much starch can one human ingest at one time and still live?  We’ve yet to discover the outer limits, but we’re still trying.  (Of course, we’ve taken the sandwich concept and run with it: potato-chip sandwiches [fried bologna optional], meat sandwiches [shout out, Carnegie Deli in NYC], there are really just too many examples to name and those of you from other countries would not believe me if I told you.  You'll just have to come and discover them for yourselves.  And I apologize in advance for what we call bread.

2. Pizza + anything – really, what is the point?

3. The cronut – croissant + donut = cronut.  Apparently all the rage in NYC, but then, I’m not in NYC, so what do I know? (and some folk apparently cut them in half and use them as bread and make themselves a sandwich of it, throwing on some meat and cheese).

4. The casserole . . . a casserole . . . any casserole . . . we sure do love them and they are (sometimes) quite tasty. . . sometimes not so much.  A cultural note:  the ubiquitous casserole is virtually a sacrament at church functions in the States (except that we tend to make our sacraments more special by their lesser frequency in our communal lives).

5. Fried everything – pickles – really?  What did the pickle ever do to you, I wonder?

6. Bacon with, on, or in, everything.  Now don’t get me wrong: I love me some bacon.  But bacon tacos, with the actual taco made of bacon?  Bacon ice cream?  Are there no purists left among us?

7. Sausage gravy on pancakes – like biscuits aren’t quite big enough for the job – really?  (But come out to the Highlands during Maple Festival – the sausage gravy at the Stonewall Ruritans is fabulous, especially on a pancake).

8. Just like we’ll make a sandwich of anything just by slapping a couple pieces of bread around it, we’ll make a cereal of about everything else by throwing some milk on it . . . torn pieces of stale white bread in milk . . . fresh tomatoes . . . you guessed it . . . in milk . . . and then there are just our garden variety of breakfast cereals – my latest fav (actually, I hate milk, but I love the combinations the cereal people come up with – makes me glad I don’t eat cereal) – some sort of grain-crunch product that encases marshmellow and is encased by chocolate – a sort of s’mores cereal.  What could be better than that for your child’s health?

Honorable mention – not a mash-up, really, but who can forget:

9. Bigger . . . everything – why have a meal for one when you can supersize it and have enough to feed your neighborhood?  I remain bemused by the sheer volume of food that comes on a plate these days.  We eat like we be giants.  I wonder what’s up with that?

So own it, fellow citizens – what weird little food secrets are you hiding as your own secret delight?


  1. I honestly do not partake of the mash-ups that you mention with the exception of casseroles. (I love a brown rice, broccoli, and chicken breast combo.) I'm aghast at some of them (bacon tacos??). There is one here in Austin that my son and grandson recently tried -- at a Mexican food restaurant no less! Fried ice cream. Don't ask me how they made it - I was not there!

    1. I don't know how they do it either, but I've had fried ice cream and it is tasty -- but of course, it's ice cream, so what's not to love? I'm stopping now :-)