Exploring the appeal of hybrid foods on social media

Thana Elshaafi considers why hybrid desserts have recently gained massive popularity

Innovative food creations are not uncommon in the culinary space. However, social media, particularly TikTok, have caused a rapid rise in food content creation and thus the creation of hybrid foods. In the pursuit for virality, many food influencers attempt to bring about new food concepts to boost their engagement and popularity. The audience is captivated by these foods as they often blend different elements from popular or traditional foods together to create new and intriguing flavours. We owe some of the most popular recent dessert creations to the hybrid food concept, including the crookie (cookies and croissants), brookie (brownie and cookie), cronut (doughnut-like croissant), cruffins (croissants and muffins) and much more. 

Crookies are the most recent viral sensation, a fusion of the beloved croissants and cookies, which have captivated everyone online. It combines the lightness and flakiness of croissants with the chewiness from cookies to create a mouthwatering mix of textures. Creating crookies involves filling cooked croissants with cookie dough and then baking them until golden. The result is a delightful dessert that has the best of both worlds- a buttery, flaky pastry pastry with gooey, chocolatey cookie dough. 

“Instead of improving both desserts by combining them, some say both are ruined”

Crookies have truly taken social media by storm, garnering millions of views and leading to bakers recreating the viral dessert in their own bakeries. Despite the popularity of the crookies, many have found the idea absolutely unappealing. Instead of improving both desserts by combining them, some say both are ruined. The croissant can become soggy instead of maintaining its flakiness and the cookie dough never fully cooks through before the croissant is burned. Some think that each should be fully enjoyed in their usual way instead of constantly trying to mix foods for social media craze.

Compared to the recent fame of crookies, cronuts have become a classic hybrid dessert. Since the term was coined in 2013, cronuts have been consistently featured in bakeries worldwide. An ingenious cross between a croissant and a doughnut, the cronut features laminated croissant dough fried to crispy perfection and filled with cream before being glazed. This results in a pastry that is both flaky and sweet, creating an indulgent experience that has been steadily popular over the years. The variety of flavours adds to the appeal and love for the humble cronut.

Another equally popular pastry is the cruffin, a hybrid pastry that uses the shape and convenience of a muffin on a croissant. This decadent treat is made by rolling croissant into a muffin shape and baking until golden brown resulting in a pastry that combines the layers of croissant with the convenient shape of a muffin, making it a popular choice among foodies looking for a new twist on a classic.

“The result is a visually stunning dessert that offers a contrast of colours, flavours and textures”

Although hybrid foods are often well received, there are a few which cause horror rather than interest, such as sushi doughnuts. While sushi is traditionally a savoury dish made from rice and fish, people have created a playful sweet twist that involved topping the rice with fruits and candies and moulded it into a doughnut shape, before being covered with a sweet sauce. The result is a visually stunning dessert that offers a contrast of colours, flavours and textures. This recipe has received mixed reactions as some appreciate the innovation while others are not amused by the sensational use of the idea of sushi and doughnuts while the dish only vaguely resembles either. This is often seen in foods that hold cultural significance. Recipes which are an integral part of a cuisine are more likely to cause a negative reaction than more modern foods.

The world of hybrid desserts is truly filled with endless options. These innovative creations help to push the boundaries of world cuisine by offering exciting new flavour combinations and textures. Experimenting with hybrid foods is a creative outlet for many and helps to create exciting new foods. This helps to create different foods with varying flavours and textures. As food trends become more popular more foods are developed, ensuring there is always something new and exciting to discover in the culinary scene.