This is the question that I asked a group of around 50 people this evening as part of a food for thought exercise. 37 replied before I decided to write this blog post, and here is a quick summary…

The question was “If you bake 2 lasagnes, and then put one on top of the other, do you have 1 or 2 lasagnes?”

The answers ranged dramatically, and the group was fairly divided, but slightly leaning toward an answer of 1, with ~24 saying that you have 1 lasagne, and ~10 saying 2 lasagnes. Some of the answers were a bit vague and hard to stick into one of these categories.

Word cloud of the responses

Lasagna vs Lasagne

Lasagne was used 22 times, Lasagna only 6.

Lasagne is the Italian plural for lasagna, and it is the form that predominates in British English.

https://writingexplained.org/

One big lasagne

This was the biggest group, and there were many ways used to describe this tasty meal.

The short ones

  • “1 mahoosive one 😁”
  • “A monster lasagne?!”
  • “A better lasagna”
  • “Just a big lasagne”
  • “A big lasagne!! :D”
  • “1 lasagna with 2 layers”
  • “It’s definitely one mega lasagne”
  • “A lasagne the size of Wembley stadium?!”
  • “It’s one lasagna and it’s going to be amazing”
  • “I think a double stack would be classed as 1”
  • “Personally I think it’s one lasagne and you just have a mega slice”
  • “Ummmm to wild claim that is a merge… If I had to make a decision!!”
  • “I think if you can’t separate them cleanly afterwards, it’s one lasagne.”

The long ones

  • “I’d say from the point you put them together, one 🤷🏻‍♂️ Yes, deep pan. Like a pizza”
  • “Definitely 1 lasagne, A super lasagne. So if you keep adding lasagnes on top, it’s still one.”
  • “With a layer of cheese in the middle. A special double decker lasagne, but one nonetheless.”
  • “1 lasagne unless you put something special on top of the bottom lasagne to preserve its topness”
  • “I think either way, you just have Lasagne…no one should ever be concerned with ‘how much’ lasagne they are eating! 😂😂”
  • “I’m assuming you are taking them out of their trays, smooshing them together? I’d say it’s one, but a double lasagne. It’s like mixing paint, it becomes hard to seperate.”

Definitions

Some people went into quite some detail. It just so happened that the 4 people that tried to define what lasagne was were software engineers.

  • “Well, lasagna is in my definition layers of pasta meat and cheese. So. By adding extra layers, you’re making a bigger singular lasagna”
  • “I define lasagne as something with layers, so it doesn’t matter how many layers. I guess there’d be a middle layer that’s a bit more crunchy.”
  • “Well the definition of lasagne would be slices of pasta with meaty sauce in between. Now you just have a thicker lasagne.”
  • “Well a lasagna is layers of pasta, sauce cheese etc, If you cooked half the layers at a time and then stacked them it wouldn’t make much difference. So if you’re presenting it with one stacked on the other, it’s a lasagna.”

Someone doesn’t like lasagne

There was one outlier here, they didn’t seem to like lasagne.

1 whopper … But also I don’t like lasagne so I’m pretty indifferent

Some crazy person

Two lasagnes

  • “It’s not a lasagna anymore it’s a lasagnas.”
  • “Err.. They were baked first, then combined? Then I would say you have two”
  • “Er, it’s two, but if you only have half a portion each time then it is probably one”
  • “Because they are from separate dishes. If you had two slices of lasagne from the same dish I’d say it was one lasagne.”

Maybe it’s not even a lasagne anymore?

I don’t know, but if the lasagne ends up being too tall, it stops being a lasagne and starts being a meat viennetta.

Someone thinking outside the box

Two, because of the dividing layer

Lots of people that said this would result in 2 lasagnes focused on the crispy / cheesy / different top layer.

  • “2? Because of the crispy cheesy top bit. One of which is now in the middle.”
  • “I say 2 lasagnes. the cheese layer. 2 cheeses layers = 2 lasagnes. I mean clearly the answer is 1. But I’m trying to reason for it being 2”
  • “I think technically still 2 lasagnes, but I kinda like the idea of It just being one big one!! 😅 You’d still have the cheesy crispy top layer between the two lasagnes which you wouldn’t get if you made a single lasagne with more layers. The extra crispy layer in the middle might be great though!”
  • “I’m going to say the top layer of a lasagna is different to the internal layers because of the grillage on the cheese. Therefore, when you stack one on top of the other, the top of the bottom lasagna does not become an internal layer, so you have a tower of lasagnas, not one lasagna…”
  • “Initially, I thought it’s one lasagne. But then I considered that you’d only put the extra cheese on the top one. And that’s really what makes it a lasagne. Also if we think about bread for a minute. If you put 3 end bits of bread together the middle slice doesn’t suddenly become a middle (non end) slice of bread does it. So it’s the same for lasagnes. The layers are fundamentally different.”

It depends

Of course, it depends!

  • “I think you put one on top of the other before you bake them, you have one. but if you put one on top of the other after you bake them, you have two”
  • “Depends on how you put the first lasagne on top of the second lasagne …. Well if you have two separate dishes with lasagne in and just place them on top of each other you have two but towered. However if you remove the lasagne contents from one and put on the top of the other I would suggest you would have one rather overflowing lasagne”

Further food for thought

Have you seen this? https://cuberule.com/

Can lasagne overflow?

What if you shuffle the layers around?

What happens if you put the first one upside down? Do you now have a double sided lasagne?

Maybe I shouldn’t have asked this question around dinner time…

  • “Now I’m hungry!”
  • “You just caught me at my most hungry. So jel”
  • “I think you will need to send them to me and I will let you know when I eat… I mean view them in person”

Maybe we all need to go and watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsI7ws6i42k