Food & Drink

What is Fusion Cuisine, Anyway?

Fusion Cuisine

Fusion cuisine is an exciting way to prepare a meal by combining the best of different culinary traditions. Fusion cuisine is growing in popularity and has become the epitome of modern health. This is a superb way to blend the techniques and foods of different civilizations and cultures while adding an element of creativity. In numerous ways, this style of cooking represents the achievements and technological advancements of society. Fusion cooking tells the story of the world.


The Specifics of Fusion Cuisine

Fusion cooking first became popular during the 1970s. The actual concept has been in existence for many generations. A few excellent examples of fusion cooking are the pad Thai pizza, the waffle taco and the Cronut. These items emerged from a new trend that has swept across America and changed some of the American dishes. Fusion cooking takes foods that appear quite different and merges them into one. It adds ethnic flavors to meals and changes the way people enjoy their food.


The History of Fusion Cuisine

Although the term fusion cooking is still fairly new, the concept began centuries ago. This style of cooking was originally referred to as the creation of hybrid dishes. Once different cultures began overlapping, it was natural to create new dishes. People started combining flavor profiles, cooking styles, new concepts and different ingredients. Italian spaghetti is one of the best examples of early fusion cooking. If Italy had never been exposed to the Chinese noodle, this dish would not exist.

The roots of modern fusion cooking were originally established during the 1980s. This was when chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Roy Yamaguchi intentionally started combining flavors and ingredients from a variety of cultures. Wolfgang Puck had a European upbringing and training. This enabled him to create unique dishes that became very popular across the United States and especially in California. He began establishing new phrases, including Pan-Pacific, Cal-Asian and Pan-Asian.

New styles of food were defined by Wolfgang Puck. He once gave an interview with “The Wall Street Journal” where he said no definition for his new concepts was required. He believed once a dish was given a name, a new trend would begin. He felt this caused people to jump on the proverbial bandwagon and imitate these dishes instead of using innovation to create their own. He added that there was a lot more to fusion cooking than simply combining soy sauce and ginger.

The new style of cooking was referred to as fusion cuisine. This new trend swept the globe as chefs all over the world began creating new concepts and flavors. The less favorable results were called con-fusion. This was because the chefs were using ingredients that were not tasty when combined. Fusing together different cuisines takes thought, an understanding of different flavors/textures and proper planning. If the process is not done correctly, the results are often disastrous.

There are still a lot of people who remember this unfortunate period of time and are not open to the fusion cooking style. Some chefs refer to this type of cooking as the “F word” and refuse to be associated with any aspect of this style. This is unfortunate because when fusion cooking is done properly, the results are delicious, unique and creative. These recipes offer new tastes and a distinct flair. Despite this setback, fusion cuisine is growing in popularity.


The Evolution of Fusion Cuisine

Fusion cuisine has triggered an exciting path of creating new dishes. The most prominent audience is much younger than in the past. This is mainly due to the influence of the internet and television. As there is avid curiosity and knowledge regarding different cultures and foods, people have started looking forward to the next fusion creation. Fusion has finally entered the mainstream of America. Ethnic ingredients such as sriracha and soy sauce have become staples for numerous households.

The fusion trend has been embraced by the traditional food trucks. They have created daring new concepts including Southern sushi and Korean tacos. All the signs show that the fusion cuisine trend is still gathering momentum. Fast food chains and casual restaurants have joined in with what is sometimes called fusion mania. An abundance of ethnic food combinations has become available. Mexican fast food now includes the concept of fusion-style tacos.

The typical bagel has become much more exciting as new ingredients like sofrito sauce, edamame and jalapenos are being added. There are new recipes combining Chinese and Asian. Some of the most common ingredients in fusion cuisine now come from Asia. All that is required is a little creativity, some common sense and the desire to try something new and exciting.


The New Trend in Fusion Cuisine

One of the newest trends to emerge in fusion cuisine is mash-ups. These dishes are a combination of two distinctly different types of foods brought together into a single form. The best known and most popular is called the Cronut. This is a cross between a croissant and a donut. In 2013, this combination exploded in America and became the hottest food trend of the year. Other excellent examples are the sushi burrito, the pizza cake, the bacon shake, the donut burger and the ramen burger.


Fast food restaurants have monopolized on this trend. The chains are offering nearly everything, including biscuit and waffle tacos. These unusual concepts are consistently gaining in popularity. Where some chains have placed their focus on the quality of the items, others are concentrating only on the quantity they can sell. The novelty will have to wear off before we can tell if the trend continues.

The Future of Fusion Cuisine

Fusion cuisine is an inspiration that does not appear to be going anywhere. As the trends for more fusion cuisine continue, mainstream America is being influenced by the decadent new flavors. As time passes, many of these new foods will become an American staple as opposed to a new trend. The tried-and-true recipes will have a new flair, and the classics will become more exciting.


If you enjoyed this article, check out some of our other food posts, especially this one for healthy desserts that you and your family will love!