Fusion: Risk Taking at the Table
- By: Kaelyn Kelly-Colon
Latin fusion is the future of Latino culinary history. While some changes in tradition are gradual and natural social evolutions like, for example, the Americanizing of the Mexican taco and application of it to a fast food setting, others are more direct. Fusion food is of the latter. Imagine taking the best rich traditions of the Dominican and putting them together in an innovative and exciting new recipe. That's the purpose of fusion food - to make the old new again by reinvigorating classics and old favorites.
This is also a great example of why fusion food works so well for fine family dining, especially if you have a large family (like I do) that can't afford to go out very often (also like my family). These events can be exhausting because you are then responsible for finding just the right restaurant that can offer something for eclectic tastes and can adhere to everyone's unique dietary needs. Fusion food provides that menu. These restaurants are all about customization and variety - it's kind of part of their most basic philosophy - so their diversity is absolutely an asset when it comes to family dining. You can get something spicy for yourself, and a familiar yet adventurous seafood dish for someone in your family who doesn't want to stray too far away from what they know they like. There are mild options for those who don't like spice, and, of course, plenty of Spanish drinks - like classical Mexican margaritas - that will enhance the evening for the adults at your table, and, of course, corn chips and fresh guacamole available as a staple among Latino appetizers everywhere. It's comforting to see the classics, even if you are sort of a food risk taker, much like I am. However, this doesn't mean that getting something you know you like is a boring experience. Far from it, in fact. Fusion isn't a locked down menu that is the same everywhere, and each restaurant does things differently. If you go out to fusion restaurants a lot, like I do, it pays to compare your favorite dishes across the board. It's a great way of seeing the strengths of each restaurant in relationship to your unique tastes - after all, everyone has specialities. Some places do seafood exceptionally well, and others might be really great with spicy dishes. Figuring it out is part of the fun.
What tends to surprise people who have not yet experienced fusion is the fact that it's growing so rapidly. While the idea of mixing and matching within the Spanish food category is anything but new, recent years and restaurant trends have really shown favoritism towards this particular style. From Appleton, Wisconsin to Los Angeles, California, we are seeing fusion food everywhere, and the growth does not appear to be slowing down or stopping anytime soon.
There are so many different aspects of Latino cuisine. It is one of the most distinctly rich cuisines in the world. Fusion is an incredible way of utilizing that diversity and bringing it to the next, very delicious level.
Latin fusion is the future of Latino culinary history. While some changes in tradition are gradual and natural social evolutions.. Fusion food is of the latter. Imagine taking the best rich traditions of the Dominican and putting them together in an innovative and exciting new recipe. That's the purpose of fusion food - to make the old new again by reinvigorating classics and old favorites.
Kae Colon is a writer that specializes in Latin fusion restaurants and greatly enjoys her family's secret recipes that go back generations. http://www.osorioslatinfusion.com