Kraft Singles has teamed up with “Top Chef” standout Shirley Chung to introduce an innovative dish that reimagines a classic American comfort food pairing: the grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings, dubbed “Souplings.” This exciting new concept aims to combine the cozy, beloved flavors of grilled cheese and tomato soup with the traditional Chinese xiao long bao, offering a unique twist on both American and Chinese comfort foods.
The inception of the grilled cheese and tomato soup combination dates back to the post-World War II era, when American institutions popularized the duo as an easy, wholesome meal. It has since become synonymous with American comfort, similar to other timeless combinations like peanut butter and jelly, or burgers and fries.
In a press release, Kraft Singles’ brand manager, Stephanie Vance, highlighted the synergy between the brand’s signature product and Chung’s culinary vision. “Innovating within the tapestry of American food traditions, Chef Shirley brings her distinctive twist to these Souplings, blending the heart-warming, melty flavors that people have loved for generations,” Vance said.
The culinary evolution of this dish reflects a broader trend of fusion cuisine, which merges distinct culinary traditions to create new taste experiences. Chung, a “Top Chef” veteran known for her creative approach to fusion food, leveraged her heritage to infuse a Western staple with Eastern gastronomy. “By incorporating Kraft Singles, known for their smooth melt, we’ve crafted a dumpling that not only embodies the essence of grilled cheese but elevates it with the comforting warmth of soup,” Chung remarked.
The Souplings are scheduled to make their debut at Chung’s Ms Chi Cafe in Culver City, California, starting November 8, available for a limited time. In a move that expands this specialty’s reach, a waitlist for national shipping through Goldbelly opens on November 15, with a pack of 16 Souplings priced at $99.95.
For those fascinated by food innovation, Kraft Singles’ Souplings present an educational glimpse into the modern fusion food scene. They offer a lesson in how traditional dishes can evolve and adapt to different cultural contexts while maintaining their core appeal. This blend of grilled cheese in dumpling form reflects a growing appetite for new experiences that still provide the comfort of familiar flavors.