Dessert/main course mashups have had a chequered history. Whilst chicken and waffles have rightly claimed their place in the fast food hall of fame, other ideas have left everyone scratching their heads. Whoever thought pickles and ice cream was a worthwhile combo needs to see a specialist.
By and large, however mad a concoction may seem, there is always some sort of understandable link. Sugar and salt will always work wonders, wherever they appear. However, a maverick chef from Australia may just have re-written the ridiculous rulebook when it comes to whacky cooking. Behold, the donug.
Using the humble chicken nugget as his building block, Scottish-born Australia-based entrepreneur Crag Carrick has given the world a food that it never knew it needed but now can’t stop thinking about. Taking a critical view of the fast food industry, Crag decided that normal nugget shapes were outdated. The modern world needed something that combined the comfort of chicken with the hand held appeal of pastry. The shape he settled on was the donut.
Crag’s donug features prime chicken breast, fashioned into a ring, before being covered in a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and cornflakes and deep fried. The result is a crispy crunchy circle of flavour that ticks just about every comfort food box there is.
To top it all off, there’s a lot more to donuts than poultry and panko. Every donug can be smothered in a selection of specially prepared sauces, including cheesy Dijon bechamel, Japanese curry with mozzarella and a searing hot chilli sauce.
Unlike normal sweet and savoury hybrids, the donug is actually only a superficial dessert. It might look like a Krispy Kreme, but there’s nothing sugary about Crag’s creation. Every donug variation has, in his words, “nothing sweet about it.”
Though there are many exciting food trends that never see the light of day, the good news for fast food fans is that the donug has already become a reality. Crag and his wife were able to secure a £56,000 investment during an appearance on the Australian version of business-based reality show Shark Tank.
This boost has helped Crag to launch what he believes could transform into a donug dynasty. Intent on bringing his creation to the masses, he told The Metro that ‘It’s about getting Donugs sold at every sporting ground, every service station, every fish and chip shop.’ Crag added that he wanted “this to be the crazy new food trend coming out of Melbourne.” If early reactions are anything to go by, dream may soon turn into reality.
Despite only appearing at a few festivals, Crag and his donug have already won a legion of loyal fans in the Melbourne area. With a manufacturing cost of £1 and a retail price of £5, Crag has already made a profit of £4,500 over two festivals. Dozens of excited Instagram posts have catapulted the donug into the Australian food spotlight. The rest of us can only hope that the new publicity forces Crag to go international sooner rather than later.