In April of this year I posted an article proposing the concept of a novel range of mashed potato based take away outlets, arguing that it was more healthy and offered greater choice than traditional burger, curry and fish & chips franchises.
I even attempted to differentiate my idea by suggested a slight change in the packaging of the take away product by proposing a circular polystyrene container. However this change is not radical enough. It still has the unpopular use of a one time wasteful box. So I set about attempting to find a solution to appease environmentally minded people.
I found a solution to this by merging two traditional take away ideas - Fast food and ice cream.
I propose the uniquely novel idea of a brand new food product which I have called The MashTop.
The basic concept is a scoop of mashed potato atop an edible wafer cone.
With the mashed potato top additional elements can be added to complete a tasty meal such as the use of frankfurters shown in the adjacent close up photograph.
Other toppings could include slices of various cooked or processed meats or even fish fingers. Samples are shown within the banner photograph above.
Carrots, baked beans or sprinklings of peas could be vegetarian options or even be included with the meats.
Toppings could include peppers, gravy or selected sauces.
The other novel concept, which really sets this idea apart from what is already available, is the hidden sweet treat internally held within the cone.
The large photograph shows a filling of red jelly with chunks of dark chocolate and a Malteser plug. But many other mixes could be added such as illustrated by the banner photograph.
Other sweets could be utilised such as Smarties, Jelly Babies, chocolate raisins or maybe healthier options like apple, orange segments or grapes.
The major benefit of The MashTop is the complete lack of environmental waste because the toppings, internal contents and the 'container', the wafer cone itself, are all edible.
Additional benefits include ease of use, convenience, the ability for customers to select their own choice of fillings and being quick enough to prepare to be called fast food.
As the original designer and so first user of this concept I am uniquely qualified to report on the success or otherwise of this concept.
For the purpose of this article I simply used products that are easily available at large supermarkets and I used no more 'cooking' than boiling a kettle.
I used a freeze dried potato mash option and warmed the frankfurters by emptying the water from a tin and adding boiled water.
With more effort in a full kitchen fresh potatoes could be peeled, boiled and mashed but the end result would look little different.
Because I like the way I prepared the food I was personally satisfied with the taste and texture of the mash based topping.
It was as easy to eat as a classic ice cream and didn't spill anywhere.
The interaction between the mash, frankfurters and the room temperature cone was admittedly a bit unusual because this is not the normal way of consuming food. However it was perfectly acceptable.
The only change I would make is a thicker wafer cone as the moisture from the mashed potato was easily absorbed around the cone perimeter. This would be less likely the quicker the product was consumed. Alternate thicker, stronger cones were not available in the supermarket that I used.
The internal treats were lovely as expected and no such differentiation between the cone and sweet filling was experienced.
When reselecting a different more substantial cone I would also seek a larger size. The standard small cone wasn't able to accommodate much filling and the mashed potato based topping was only a small meal. Ideal for a snack between meals or for children but probably not enough for a main lunchtime meal. Maybe cone size options could be offered at the retail outlet.
Overall I feel the product has serious potential as a new fast food option.
A complete meal in a take away cone. Two courses, no waste.
Do you like this idea? Perhaps you have some comments. The idea is not patented and therefore free to use. Try it. Enjoy it. Sell it. Sell millions. Make millions. Thank me later.
And finally if you think I haven't also thought of serving other fast food meals such as burgers in a wafer box then you really don't understand the breadth of my inventiveness. Another great idea, just dropped in as an afterthought? You're welcome.
Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.270 11 Jul 2019 [First Publication]
The header image is a compilation of eleven photographs showing the concept of the MashTop product, along with the author holding one of the cones, taken by the author and his wife on 23 Sep 2017
The additional image is a close up of a cutaway MashTop, taken by the author on 23 Sep 2017
I had the idea of mashed potato based fast food outlets a few years ago but only publicly posted this as an idea in April 2019
The idea of the MashTop was fully developed by me by 2017, as can be seen from the date of the photographs. This article is the first public airing of the idea. Had I created the article immediately and not spent ages updating my web site as a vehicle for such thoughts I suspect that by now there would have been a sea change of fast food container use and as a result there would be no plastics found in our environment, Polar Bears would have been brought back from near extinction and David Attenborough would be having a nice quiet retirement. For this delay Mr Attenborough and all Polar Bears I am sorry.