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Fusion Cooking - How To and Examples
What exactly is fusion cooking?
When it comes to food, fusion is basically the mixing of seasonings and ingredients, as well as cooking styles or techniques into one new dish. If you think about it, really fusion cooking has been going on for some time. Think especially about times when people have left their countries in droves, for whatever reason to go to a new place. You would certainly see a mixture of the two cuisines emerge to create whole new dishes. Even if you tried to avoid it, I think that over time one set of techniques or spices would meld together with the other. Thus whole new recipes and dishes are "born".
Imagine, people having access to completely new spices during the spice trade. The people that brought and bought spices would want to use and incorporate them into their own cooking. Again, new recipes are born out of what may sometimes has been necessity. Now however, it is simply fun and experimental to try to combine cuisines, or techniques, or herbs and spices. Sure, many recipes have perhaps flopped, but look at all the great things we now have!
You will see this occurring in more in areas where there are the mixing of different cultures, and in metropolitan areas. The bigger the cultural diversity of a population, the more you will see there being a wider audience to use fusion cooking with. One great example of fusion, that I can't imagine not having, is Tex Mex cuisine. There is some incredible stuff there!
Like I alluded to before, the fusion way of cooking has probably been around not too long after mankind started cooking. Its no surprise that people have been sharing their culinary skills recipes with other people groups. So while this has been going on for centuries, really the word itself wasn't very popular before the 1970's.
For instance, you began to see French cuisine, combined with Asian cuisine, and China and Vietnam in particular. This idea spread like wildfire, and before you knew it, we saw it what seemed like everywhere. In America, it hit the coastlines hard. We have truly benefited very much from it ever since.
One other thing that was inspired by all this fusion cooking and perhaps maybe even fast food, was that people wanted to get back to authentic cuisines again. So we had both things going on, which is even better for all, in my opinion! Now we have incredibly amazing Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Thai, cuisines, that are focusing on their own authentic food. We also have the fusion, so it's a great time to learn and enjoy the cultures and cuisines of the world!
With experimenting comes some mistakes, and things some wouldn't try to do again. Yet on the other hand, traditions that go way back, combined with another cultures traditions that go way back, when they are combined can have an incredible result!
Making California Rolls, a great example of Fusion Cooking
Ideally, to get a good fusion cuisine you will want to look for both ingredients and cooking techniques that may blend together rather seamlessly. You will get a wonderful new fresh dish this way. The last thing you want is for your ingredients to clash, so good research is something worth investing a little time into. I have heard it said, you want fusion cuisine, not confusion cuisine!
Japanese and American Fusion cooking
A great example of Fusion Cooking
There are many examples of fusion cooking but one comes to mind that really makes the point. It is the California Roll, originally known as the Nori Roll in Japan. Around the same time as fusion cooking was really starting to take off we see the California Roll being invented in Los Angeles, as far as we know. At this time, Americans in general, were not that "in to" raw fish. This fusion cuisine, combines a very traditional Japanese dish, and makes it with ingredients from the United States. This idea really took off, and we see how popular it has become. Other chefs have tried their hand at making the California Roll and we see it in varied forms throughout the states.
What became interesting, was that for a time, you couldn't find California Rolls in Japan. Now however, you can find some in Tokyo, Shanghai as well s some other places. They used to have to import the avocados often from the U.S. The Nori Roll inspired the California Roll in the U.S. but made its way back to Japan. So you can see how one dish can take off in a whole other country and turn into something all its own, and even return there to bring a new fusion of cuisines for more to enjoy.