Fusion (noun) – the process or result of joining two or more things together to form a single entity.
Wouldn’t it be ideal if we could combine the best part of two different things to make something truly wonderful? For example, the umbrella hat, for use as a method of not getting wet from the falling rain and keeping your hands free. GENIUS!
In food this concept has already happened. Think of a Currywurst or Fried Chicken Ramen or Wasabi mashed potatoes. This is such a boon for nutrition because it means that while some people and cultures may never mix, like my 94 y old grandmother traveling to Paris, France, their influence on food will. She absolutely loves crepes.
With the current, “The world is flat” mentality eloquently written by Thomas L. Friedman (1), this is the perfect idea of fusing the beneficial ingredients found in other culture’s foodstuffs like curry’s anti-oxidant properties (2,3) with more mainstream food choices in the average person’s daily cooking repertoire. Who would think of adding the root vegetable, wasabi, with that sharp taste to boiled potatoes and mashing them together? The typical dinner table side dish would most likely wouldn’t have the extra punch of flavor. Perhaps, instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed parsnips or half potatoes and cauliflower -its surprisingly similar! If this seems passe, then go above and beyond and start by purchasing items that are NOT your usual grocery items. Forget the carrots, potatoes or onions. Instead, kholrabi, eggplant (aka: aubergine) or enoki mushrooms. go ahead… look up recipes for them… i dare you!
Challenge: I propose that at some point this week, to go out of your (cooking) comfort zone and use a different spice purchased from an ethnic section of the store or ingredient from the wet market stall and fuse it with a staple food item that you regularly eat. It can be something simple like: Dijon mustard roasted chicken to the more exotic wheat bulgar pilaf.
History of fusion cuisine: (courtesy of WSJ)
2. Epstein et al., Curcumin as a therapeutic agent: the evidence from in vitro, animal and human studies. Br J Nutr 2010 Jun;103(11):1545-57.
3. Aggarwal BB. Targeting inflammation-induced obesity and metabolic diseases by curcumin and other nutraceuticals. Annu Rev Nutr. 2010 Aug 21;30:173-99.
© Charlene C Ho and its a NUTTY, NUTTYgrrl world…blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Charlene C Ho and its a NUTTY, NUTTYgrrl world…blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.