Most people have to eat several times a day, every single day of every week, month, year, decade and so forth. It's a small wonder we don't get bored of everything sooner or later. I don't know about you, but I seem to go through phases where I'll eat something and eat it often enough that I get tired of it and move on to the next thing and repeat. Eventually I'll come full circle and start over. Every now and then, I'll stumble on something new and that will get added to my favorites list. After a long enough time, though, I get tired of everything on my favorites list. What do I do then? I start getting adventurous and begin trying new things. That's how I came to love fusion cuisine.
The cool thing about fusion cuisine is that it is familiar, or at least has ingredients that I know I like. On top (sometimes literally) of those familiar staples are things that are new and exciting. I love me some steak and know that as long as it is cooked well, it's really hard to mess up. I once had a steak, probably the best I have ever eaten, that came with a little ice cream sized scoop side of a wasabi butter type thing. I was wary because I knew that wasabi was a pretty intense flavor. I had never had it before and really didn't know if I was going to like it, but I figured if it was too much or just a weird combination, I still had steak on the plate. So, I gave it a shot.
I started with a nice size bite of steak and just a little scraping of the wasabi on the fork. With slight trepidation, I went for it. It was simply amazing. The steak was perfect and the wasabi added such an exotic flare to it that I didn't even miss the regular old A1 sauce that normally accompanies my steaks. After that first bite, I got brave and started adding more of the wasabi side with each cut of steak. The last bite was just as good as the first, but I was just a little sad. I didn't have any more steak.
My point is that I never would have tried that particular combination had it not been for fusion cuisine. It seems kind of silly, but just one ingredient from a different culinary style is enough to dramatically change the entire flavor profile of a dish. Fusing different culinary styles may fly in the face of classical chef thinking, but times are changing and our world is getting smaller and more connected. These changes are bringing a new life to old dishes with fresh and striking flavors. I have fusion cuisine to thank for effectively resetting my favorites list and I hope this inspires you to exit your comfort zone a little and be bold enough to try something new.
Tim Hiller is a freelance writer that enjoys fusion cuisine and just realized how much he misses that steak from his anniversary dinner years ago. http://www.osorioslatinfusion.com