Food Facts & Lore

Would You Eat This?


Remember the “Cronuts?” They were the Internet craze of 2017. We may not see them much anymore, but that does not mean they have disappeared. The Cronut remains fashionable and highly sought wherever it has been elevated to a niche delicacy. The “Cruffin” did not get as much press, but it has established its own lasting legacy.

Not all hybrid foods are as successful. Most hybrid foods raise eyebrows at first; until someone takes a bite and discovers never-before experienced flavor. Some hybrid foods do not inspire taste bud curiosity as much as others. Take the “Dausage,” for example.

In 2015, Wales, England food enthusiast and web developer (do these go hand in hand?) Liam Bennett created jam-filled sausage. You have guessed from the name that it resembled a doughnut. The initial sausage was pork and it was filled with strawberry jam. Not a bad idea, if you consider how well sweet and savory play together. “Everyone thought it was crazy to be honest. But when they tried it they loved it. And so did I, I thought it was a great taste,” said Bennett in a CNN interview.

Bennett considered several other combinations, such as pork and apple sauce, chicken and raspberry jam or the altogether more questionable beef and custard (although English custard is exquisite). He set up a website and launched a Kickstarter campaign. The Facebook page has been inactive since September 2017, which is a bit of a surprise, for he did seem to be on to something.

We travel further east around the globe for a quick, imaginary bite of another food oddity that we could easily have tried right here in the Green Mountains, and it’s a wonder we have not. The location is ideal. Vermont is THE place to be for autumn foliage, so why not enjoy a side dish of Deep Fried Maple Leaves as a new fall tradition?

These are a delicacy in the Japanese region of Kansai. In fact, it is more than this; it is a tradition dating back to at least the 14th century. Leaves are cultivated and harvested meticulously and preserved in salt-filled barrels for over a year prior to being dipped in a sweetened flour and sesame seed batter, and then fried.

The dish is called, “Momiji Tempura.” Momiji is the word for maple. Tempura refers to food that is fried in batter. The leaf lends little, if any, flavor to the treat; it is its shape that matters. Any other edible leaf could be used, but it would not be so attractive when fried, crisp and golden.

We truly wonder why this is not a New England delicacy already. To all entrepreneur foodies reading this: are you not inspired to imagine the next great Vermont food craze? We see a sweet Go-Fund-Me idea here!