Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Menu Mash-Up

Menu Mash-Up

Fall 2014 Games
Ages: 12 & Up
Manufacturer: Chronicle Books
Price: $22.95

Menu Mash-Up is "Apples to Apples" merged with the TV show "Chopped:" chef players compete to create the menu that best fits the diner player's "Dish" card, using only the ingredient and prep cards in their hands. Then the diner gets to choose his or her favorite menu, and the winner takes the Dish.

Ingredient cards are types of foods, anything from "butter" or "carrot" to "quinoa" and "squid"; Prep cards are methods of cooking ("chopped", "marinated", "flambé," etc.) or types of dishes ("pizza", "cookies", etc.); and Dish cards can be as simple as "Lunch" or as baffling as "Dazzle me." Since the ingredient and prep cards in one's hand are random, and the dish is often vague or nearly impossible, the results can range from the sublime to the ridiculous -- and the more ridiculous, the greater the hilarity and the fun.

We found that this game worked well as a family game; younger players (and non-foodies) can learn of new foods, and mystery foods provide a clue in the picture on the card -- is this a dairy product? A condiment? Some kind of meat? Menu Mash-Up has even more promise as a party game; it provides menu folders for seven players, but you could probably rig up a few extras and the game would be playable for even larger groups, or players could work in teams. In today's Food Network and Pinterest society, adults, teens, and even younger ones will feel right at home with Menu Mash-Up.

Emily Crawford   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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