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Fusion cuisine

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Fusion Cuisine

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Fusion food is a general term for the combination of various forms of cookery and comes in several forms. Regional fusion combines different cuisines of a region or sub-region into a single eating experience. Asian fusion restaurants, which combine the various cuisines of different Asian countries, have become popular in many parts of the United States and United Kingdom. Often featured are South Asian, East Asian, and South-East Asian dishes alongside one another and offering dishes that are inspired combinations of such cuisines. California cuisine is considered a fusion culture, taking inspiration particularly from Italy, France, Mexico, the idea of the European delicatessen, and eastern Asia, and then creating traditional dishes from these cultures with non-traditional ingredients - such as California pizza. Other examples of this style include Tex-Mex, which combines southwest United States cuisine and Mexican cuisines, and Pacific rim cuisine, which combines the different cuisines of the various island nations.

In Australia, due to the increasing influx of migrants, fusion cuisine is being reinvented and is becoming increasingly the norm at numerous cafes and restaurants; with Melbourne and Sydney now being considered as some of the best cities in the world with regard to the quality and creativity of Asian-fusion restaurants.

Fusion cuisine blends the culinary traditions of two or more nations to create innovative and sometimes quite interesting dishes. It tends to be more common in culturally diverse and metropolitan areas, where there is a wider audience for such food. Some common examples include Pacific Rim cuisine and Tex-Mex food. Critics of the practice sometimes call it “confusion cuisine,” arguing that chefs rely on novelty to carry the food, rather than flavor, texture, and presentation.

The roots of fusion cuisine are probably ancient, since humans have been exchanging culinary heritage for centuries, but the concept became popularized in the 1970s. Several French chefs began to offer foods that combined traditional French food with Asian cuisine, especially foods from Vietnam and China. The concept quickly spread to other major European cities, along with the American coasts. (Read on www.chefandrecipes.com more details for the food history ).

Good fusion cuisine combines ingredients and cooking techniques from several cultures in a way which pulls together well, creating a seamless and fresh dish. Confusion cuisine, on the other hand, throws ingredients together like confetti, and sometimes causes an inevitable clash. Cooks who want to experiment should research their ingredients carefully and think about how flavor and textures will combine for the diners. While novelty is certainly commendable, restraint is also important, especially for people who are just beginning to explore the culinary traditions of other places.

 

Let’s take as example the TEX-MEX food:

Tex-Mex is very popular throughout Texas and the Mexico borders. This popular cuisine was originated from a mixture of authentic Mexican and Spanish dishes that are prepared Texas style. However, some historians say what I was told when I first moved here, "that it is anything influenced by both Texas and Mexico cuisines." However, many chefs believe that Tex-Mex is neither authentically Mexican nor Texan.

Well, I am neither a historian so I cannot intellectually argue either point.  While I love Mexican cuisine, many of the dishes are way too spicy for me, and some Texan foods do not seem to have enough spice; however, I like the unique dishes from a Tex-Mex menu! They can be interesting while providing a nice unique blend of spices that are not too hot, unless you choose to have it that way.

The History of Tex-Mex.

Sources of food history state that the first evidence of the term, “Tex Mex” occurred around the 1040’s. Around 1945 this term was deemed a combination of the words, “Texan and Mexican” and was referred to as Mexican dishes that have been adapted by Texas cooks. Then Tex Mex restaurants started being established in the southwest region in cities that have large Mexican populations.

Diana Kennedy, a Mexican culinary expert, is credited for the Tex Mex fad that began in the ‘70s which appealed to a younger generation. In 1976, a food critic wrote, “Tex-Mex food might be described as native foreign food…for it does not exist elsewhere; it was born on this soil. But it is foreign in that its inspiration came from an alien cuisine…”

See the recipe bellow and for sure you will get a clear point of mix cuisine.

Beef and Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients for Beef

  • 1 1/2 lbs beef, cut into strips, for stir fry
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle BBQ mesquite marinade. (Authentic barbecue flavor in a bottle. This distinctive marinade balances a hearty, natural mesquite wood flavor with a touch of lime juice).
  • 2 green peppers, julienned
  • 2 onions, julienned
  • 1(20 ounce) package flour tortillas
  • 1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken, cut into strips, for stir fry
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle BBQ mesquite marinade (for chicken)
  • 2 red peppers, julienned
  • 2 onions, julienned
  • 1(20 ounce) package flour tortillas
  • 1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • sour cream (optional)
  • shredded cheeses Monterey Jack or Cheddar (optional)
  • diced tomato (optional)
  • shredded lettuce (optional)
  • jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • salsa cruda (optional)
  • guacamole (optional)

Ingredients for Chicken

Toppings

Instructions - Rinse off beef strips, marinate in Mesquite Marinade for at least 30 min, however I prefer to marinate overnight. Julienne peppers and onions. Add oil to pan and heat. Add beef strips and brown 3-4 minutes; add peppers and onions, cook until veggies are softened. Remove from heat; serve in warm tortillas with toppings.

Alternatives – When cooking this meal there’s always at least one individual that wants beef while others want chicken. So I usually fix it this way and let group just choose what they want. It is easier to use just one recipe for both beef and chicken however, I do not mix the two meats together when marinating nor while cooking. If one chooses to do so, you could use two different types of seasoning.

Another alternative is to marinate meats covered in wine or beer. It helps to tenderize the beef especially. In order to make this meal healthier one can grill meats instead of frying them. That way one can illuminate the vegetable oil. Also one can purchase low-fat tortillas, sour cream, and cheese. And pile on more of the veggies in order to get full faster.

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