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Fusion cuisine is cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions. Cuisines of this type are not categorized according to any one particular cuisine style and have played a part in innovations of many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s.
Categories and types
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 East Asian, South-East Asian, and South 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 Southwestern 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. Another incarnation of fusion cuisine implements a more eclectic approach, which generally features original dishes that combine varieties of ingredients from various cuisines and regions. Such a restaurant might feature a wide variety of dishes inspired by a combination of various regional cuisines with new ideas.
Foods based on one culture, but prepared using ingredients and flavors inherent to another culture, are also considered forms of fusion cuisine. For instance, pizza made with cheddar and pepper jack cheese, salsa, refried beans or other common taco ingredients is often marketed as "Taco Pizza". This particular dish is a fusion of Italian and Mexican cuisines. Similar approaches have been used for fusion-sushi, such as rolling maki with different types of rice and ingredients such as curry and basmati rice, cheese and salsa with Spanish rice, or spiced ground lamb and capers rolled with Greek-style rice and grape leaves, which resembles inside-out dolmades.
This type of restaurant's success depends on a number of factors. Among these are:
- Clientele's (or prospective clientele's) cultural diversity
- Clientele's travel patterns and experiences.
- Clientele's culinary sophistication and openness to new eating experiences.
Wolfgang Puck is considered as one of the pioneers of fusion cuisine. However, his restaurant Chinois on Main was named after the term attributed to Richard Wing, who in the 1960s combined French and Chinese cooking at the former Imperial Dynasty restaurant in Hanford, California.
- Sake cocktails
- Salad with crisp nori topping, and a miso-cilantro vinaigrette dressing
- Rock shrimp dumplings
- Eel, lettuce and tomato sushi handroll
- Poached tofu
Media related to Fusion cuisine at Wikimedia Commons