Some foods are so good on their own that it’s hard to imagine pairing them with other ingredients. Take peanut butter and jelly, for example. Can you add bananas, pickles, cheese, or even potato chips to your sammie? Sure, but honestly, these extras only make your PB&J different, not better.

Then there are foods that are great to begin with but get even better when taken in an entirely new direction. Make traditional dishes fresh again by adopting a hybrid approach to recipes, transforming tired classics into exciting palate pleasers. Which hybrid foods are currently the most craveable? 

Savory Sweets

Fans of salted caramel are already well aware of the appeal of pairing savory and sweet ingredients. The trend for these hybrid treats took off dramatically with the rise in popularity of cronuts, and new options are entering the market all the time. What’s hot right now? 

Croffles

Croffles, or croissant waffles, are the new cronuts. Credited to Irish pastry chef Louise Lennox, this take on the classic breakfast dish has become incredibly popular in South Korea and is now gaining notice stateside. 

Making croffles is as simple as cooking croissant dough in a waffle iron, creating a mashup that features a light, flaky interior and a crispy exterior. 

Whether it’s paired with berries and whipped cream, powdered sugar and jam, or butter and syrup, or it’s served croque madame–style, it’s hard to find fault in the versatility of this tasty hybrid. 

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Corn Cookies

If Momofuku can dream it up, an army of novice bakers will surely sweat over the recipe. To be fair, it’s hard not to love the innovative confections that Momofuku Milk Bar churns out like seasoned grannies knitting complex fair isle patterns. 

A bit like crunchy cornbread, these cookies are more savory than sweet, and they’re perfect for pairing with some of the many popular dessert dips circulating on TikTok and Pinterest. 

Savory Ice Cream

Even consumers partial to classic chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and other sweet ice cream flavors are sure to enjoy branching out into sophisticated, savory mashups that hit other taste centers. 

Strawberry balsamic basil ice cream offers the opportunity to start slow, pairing classic sweet sensations with the brightness of basil and a hint of sour balsamic. 

Maple bacon ice cream is another great option to start, as the overwhelming sweetness of maple syrup is cut with salty, savory bacon. 

Spicy sriracha takes ice cream to a whole different level, creating a fire-and-ice appeal that is only enhanced by mixing in crumbled bacon bits.

For an all-out surprise, adding strong cheese flavors like sharp cheddar or blue cheese can turn tasty vanilla or chocolate ice cream into something completely unexpected. 

Asian-Mexican Fusion

Taco Tuesdays are always amazing, mainly because tacos are the perfect food. Is it possible to improve on perfection? It is when you lend tacos some APAC flair. 

Instead of cooking beef or chicken with traditional Mexican spice blends, opt instead for bulgogi (Korean BBQ beef), sweet and sour chicken, or even spicy tuna in your flour or corn tortillas. Top with spicy mayo, kimchi, or ginger slaw, along with crossover add-ons like onions, cilantro, and avocado. 

Related: Flavor Trends Favor Spicy and Sweet at the Same Time: Symrise In-Sight

Beauty + Foodie

Healthy, whole foods that nourish the body are pretty much a given in any balanced diet, but what about ingredients that contribute to an effective beauty routine? Meals that do double duty by making skin more radiant and hair more lustrous are in high demand. 

Ingredients like antioxidant-rich blueberries, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, beets, and more enhance the flavor of a recipe while helping to negate oxidative stress from the sun and environmental pollutants. 

Healthy fats from fish, nuts, and avocados make meals more filling and keep cholesterol in check, and they also promote healthy hair growth and cell turnover for glowing skin. 

Hybrid foods can help to keep a menu surprising while giving brands the opportunity to engage customers and set themselves apart from competitors. The trick is to stay on top of trends and make them your own through deliberate and delightful innovation.

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