You may have stumbled across “pluots” or “beefalo” at the farmers’ market recently and been very, very confused. Both the pluot (a plum and apricot hybrid) and the beefalo (a Bison and cattle hybrid) are “crossbreeds”—or, to put it more simply, a cross between two different plant or animal species. Farmers have used crossbreeding for ages to increase the output of their crops and to produce Frankenfoods with super desirable traits. Indeed, long before chefs created mashups like the Cronut, farmers and food scientist were figuring out what would happen if you combined a tangerine and grapefruit.
Recently, a U.K. company unleashed the TomTato on the world—a plant that has been grafted to produce both cherry tomatoes and potatoes. While this plant is incredible, and has both french fry and ketchup potential, it’s not a full crossbreed, because it isn’t a different species entirely. The two plants have simply been grafted (a horticultural process where tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another) to produce the TomTato.
Regardless, there are amazing hybrid foods out there—ranging from fatty, wooly, strange-looking Mangalitsa pigs to tart, delicious tayberries—that will open up a whole new frontier of culinary exploration.
Click through the gallery to see 10 incredible food hybrids and crossbreeds, from beefalo to berries.