When the cronut first came out, it was a big deal. While knock-off versions are now available everywhere from local suburban bakeries to supermarkets, Dominique Ansel’s 2013 creation was widely seen as an ingenious, innovative product that gourmets and gluttons alike were desperate to get their hands on.
2013 also saw a new savory food fad: Los Angeles chef Keizo Shimamoto created the ramen burger, a fusion of Japanese and American cuisines that comprises a basically standard hamburger with grilled patties of ramen noodles replacing the bun. Like the cronut, the ramen burger combines an American classic that is sometimes derided as unhealthy or lacking in craftsmanship with an intricate foreign cuisine in order to elevate both dishes.
In both these tried-and-true cases, however, the combined recipes have plenty in common. Both croissants and donuts are delicious, popular pastries. Both ramen and hamburgers are quick, tasty main dishes popular with basically everyone. The latest food fusion, however, seeks to destroy the boundary between dinner and dessert, and its reputation precedes it.
Pop Pasta, a food truck that travels around Brooklyn, does just that with what they call the “spaghetti donut,” which seems to be a donut made of spaghetti. The company offers several flavors based on popular, recognizable spaghetti dishes like carbonara, but baked in a donut shape.
The most mystifying aspect of the spaghetti donut seems to be whether it intends to make pasta sweet instead of savory, which many find unappealing. Pop Pasta actually markets their product as a twist on Neapolitan spaghetti pie, which involves making a spaghetti dish and baking it until it can be cut with a knife and eaten like pie. In the case of Pop Pasta, the pie tin is replaced by donut shape.
Pop Pasta claims their product is a meeting of fast food and slow food, which changes its place among cronuts and ramen burgers. Instead of combining two like things, the spaghetti donut ultimately seeks to use one food to bring out the best in another. The product debuted at Brooklyn food truck showcase Smorgasburg on April 1, 2017.