Where are my foodies at?

May, 2020

Who doesn't love indulging in exotic cuisines? Spices, herbs, sauces, different meats, and what not. Different countries have emerged and globalised their cuisines. Every country has a new variety and twist for every ingredient your pantry has to offer.

Over the years, fusion food has emerged and has become the new normal in almost every country. Creating and evolving a whole new dimension of food, where complimenting flavours and ingredients mix up and offer a new fusion, these new dishes are rapidly reaching to the remotest places and people. 

However, one might be surprised to know that this sudden eruption of the fusion culture is not exclusive to the 21st century. It has infact existed ever since trade existed, and that is probably as old as the ancient civilizations of the world i.e. Chinese, Indus, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian. 

It was only natural for the ever-inquisitive human to create new flavour profiles and cooking styles when he encountered new and unknown cuisines. A classic example would be the Italian spaghetti, which would prolly never exist without Italy's exposure to the Chinese noodle.

The modern-day fusion culture can be seen emerging during the 1980s, when chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Roy Yamaguchi intentionally mixed two or more flavours from different cuisines and cultures. The result- a new opening to a new cuisine. It was only after all these experiments and the mixing, that we now have words like Pan-Asian, Cal-Asian and Pan-Pacific, which refer to different cuisines from the respective areas being fused and made one.

However, there does exist a downside to this fusion, or rather 'con-fusion'. As time passed and fusion foods emerged globally, the act of mixing 2 cuisines slowly turned into an attempt to 'mix' two different ingredients from two cuisines and create something new, versus, mixing ingredients that actually complimented each other on the palate. True fusion would only be, if an underlying complimenting factor is omnipresent in the innovation. The move slowly went from innovation to simply mixing and cooking ingredients that don't necessarily compliment each other. The moment any idea is named or defined, it turns into a trend, on which everyone can jump and imitate, and not innovate. It's not like putting ginger and soy sauce, and voilà, Asian fusion.

Successful innovations do exist, like Cronut(a cross between crossaints and donuts), Pad Thai Pizza, the waffle taco and the famous Indian cuisine of Desi Chinese, which is an all-time favourite.

In the near future, these fusion foods will continue to evolve and make a wider and probably never-ending cuisine of fusion or hybrid foods. As new dishes and innovations will come up, this area of food will have its critics and lovers, after all, imperfection is perfection.

-Rachit Sinha 


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