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S5 E4 – What would you consider as too far with fusion food?

Jamie will be the first person to tell you that yes, sometimes fusion food can go wrong (paella-burrito gate anyone?). But fusion food as a concept is an ever growing, constantly adapting food trend. This week it’s up for discussion with some well known dishes cropping up as subject matter. Should there be boundaries? Are there dishes that should never have happened? Or is the world your oyster when it comes to creativity?

Best soundbite: “Jamie you honestly can’t think about anything else other than sandwiches can you?” – Barry Taylor

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  1. BiasedBani

    Super late to the conversation, but my favourite fusion food is one that is an “old classic” in my city (Shanghai). Schnitzel with Worcestershire sauce for dipping, paired with Russian red soup. Obviously none of them taste like they should from where they are from (even the Worcestershire sauce).

  2. tjmarskbb

    I think fusion is great and its not offensive; but its frustrating when all I can find is fusion and I can’t find the traditional version anymore.

  3. stt

    I’m late to the conversation but just had to write down my thoughts when I heard this episode! I’m Vietnamese American, so this topic is something I think about and experience frequently—especially as Vietnamese food has become more and more popular over the last few years. Aside from the fact that Vietnamese food is already fusion w/ French and Chinese influences (something you guys already pointed out), my family cooks a lot of “fusion” food at home. Frankly, it’s not for the purpose of creativity or “creating something new,” but it’s purely for convenience! We have lots of traditional Vn. ingredients in our pantry, but we also have lots of western ingredients, and when we don’t feel like going to the painstaking effort that some traditional Vn. dishes require, or when we don’t have the right types/cuts of meat or vegetables available, then we’ll slap them together and make something new. On a more creative level (i.e. “fusion for fusion’s sake”), I don’t typically eat fusion food (personal preference), though I will say I have tried some fusion foods that I really enjoy—I just wouldn’t go out of my way to try them.

    While I do think offense is an unnecessarily extreme reaction to fusion cuisine, there are definitely some behaviors that can annoy me. Attribution/giving credit is paramount, as you guys discussed. What I find most irritating is when someone is presenting a dish _from a culture that’s not one’s own_ as authentic or close-to-authentic—this is very often accompanied with a smug or authoritative tone (though you guys usually do a good job with acknowledging that you’re only trying to _recreate_ a dish as authentically as possible, rather than stating absolutely that yours is the correct way to make it). Someone (especially an obviously white person) presenting a dish in this way just reeks of whiteness. (I’m thinking especially of the brouhaha around the Bon Appétit video of a white chef explaining how to eat pho from a few years back. I love BA, but that was definitely a misstep.)

    A big appropriation-related issue with fusion food that I don’t think you guys touched on is that with it, there’s often an implication that the source cuisine needs to be lifted or elevated in some way. A lot of the foods being fused (or otherwise westernized/”trendified”) are traditionally street foods eaten by working-class people, very often in developing countries. Taking those dishes, fusing them with other flavors, making them palatable to the western tongue, and (god forbid) turning the result into an expensive “food trend” has an elitist undertone, suggesting that we don’t think the original dish is good enough and that it _needs_ to be elevated in some way. I like to think that no one really consciously feels this way (fusion food is often intended as a celebration of the source cuisines, after all), but it’s still a troubling issue.

    All that being said, I’m all for fusion food if it’s handled, presented, and eaten with respect, care, and curiosity!

  4. CaitlinMHChudy

    Just here to say, come to Houston!!! The place Jamie is talking about is Crawfish & Noodles. It’s amazing. After the Ugly Delicious series, it blew up. Now a 2-3 hour wait. I would HAPPILY show ya’ll around Houston, especially Chinatown (where Crawfish and Noodles is.) Tigers Den has the best ramen I’ve ever had (nooo I haven’t been to Japan yet Ben) and Mala Szechuan has some of the best food I’ve had period. Not to mention all the other amazing bbq and fine dining we have!

  5. Cofsyrup

    Everyone that was “Offended” by the burrito paella are pretty stupid. You can be offended by anything you want but it doesn’t make you right or correct especially when it comes to someones else’s take on a dish. Cooking is in itself a form of expression and a art form, you do what you think best represents you and the dish. Anyone that says you are wrong, well you are not because you cannot be wrong for doing for expressing your own creativity.

  6. tilly_monster

    I agree that so many people can get so hung up on being precious about their food and I just think they are missing out on so much. When my Nonna used to attend her old people group she was learning so many new cuisines but her Italian arse couldn’t get completely away from tradition so made some of the nicest asian food with an Italian twist I never knew could have existed. And my brother and his wife were spitballing the other day about menu items for the food truck they want to create fusing their two heritages (he being Italian and her Filo)and I was sitting their frothing imagining how good they would be.

  7. Rw9

    I hope you do visit Houston! Tons of amazing food here. 🙂

    Loving the new podcast format this season!

  8. Esther

    So much to dissect from this topic but before I dive into it, I just wanted to say how much I’ve been enjoying this season’s podcast so far. The previous seasons were enjoyable but I love a good discussion so these conversations about food

    Now back to this week’s topic. I’ll start with Baz’ observation about roast dinner in America. I’m very much a stickler for labels so I 100% get where he’s coming from. It’s all about expectations – I’m fine with fusion food but I don’t like it when something is touted as being one thing when it’s very clearly not.

    Peking duck pizza sounds divine. *drools* I refuse to believe that it’s anything short of amazing.

    Ok, focus.

    People can be very protective of food and culture which I totally get but a question that’s always bothered me is one that Barry brought up – How does ownership of a tradition come into being and at what point does something cross over from being fusion to being traditional? Ben mentions that there are many great fusion cuisines that have evolved from over the centuries. I’ll use Ben’s example – vindaloo. Prior to this podcast, I had no idea that it was derived from a Portuguese dish and came into being after local Goan cooks had made their own version of it. Is vindaloo a traditional Indian dish or is it fusion? Or can it be both? On a global scale, vindaloo is arguably more popular than vinha d’alhos. I can understand why to some people, acknowledging the originating culture would be important but how far back down the line should one go?

    I love yoshoku cuisine (Japanese take on western dishes ie Japanese pasta), often even more than more traditional dishes so I’m not at all surprised that Angelina’s menu works.

    I have different feelings about fusion cuisine. On one hand, food is food and if it tastes good, then I honestly don’t really care which culture(s) were involved in its evolution and will happily eat it. On the other hand, if someone were to criticise non traditional takes on Japanese ramen, it would annoy me because it is a fusion dish to begin with. I’d be annoyed because these people are taking offense to something that they’re seeing as being traditional to one culture without acknowledging the culture that the Japanese adapted it from in the first place.

    Circling back to the start of the podcast now and the idea of expectations, callous as this may sound, at the end of the day, I don’t care if something is traditional or not as long as the flavours presented are the ones that I’m familiar with. For me, when I think of authentic and traditional Chinese food, I think of HK cuisine, the majority of which is fusion. Egg tarts, milk tea, curry, etc. It’s because those are the flavours that I grew up with and I expect.

    As per usual, I’m going off track but I’ll end with this. Authenticity… tradition is an interesting concept.

    • Sorted

      Thanks so much, we’ve worked really hard to keep improving them so that means a lot!

      That’s a completely vlid question on tradition & fusion. It’s def a sticky subject and I’m not sure there’s a right answer. Maybe the issue most arises when something is stated as traditional but then isn’t prepared traditionally? But then that isn’t fusion food. Aaaargh it’s such a minefield!

  9. This was a great discussion and raised so many important points. As Ben pointed out, food is an imperative cultural identity for communities around the world. There is also a history of cultures (including cuisines) being appropriated by foreign rulers (colonization) and then being presented as being an “authentic” part of the foreign culture. So i think this is another factor that leads to people being offended because they have been historically marginalized and not acknowledged for being the original source. So even though I think there is nothing wrong with experimenting and creating new good food i think what can be problematic is when the “new” is presented as the “real/true” version of something and the source has been completely ignored. One thing that i do think Sorted does well is to acknowledge the fact that whatever dishes you are creating, are your take on those different cuisines/dishes and therefore you aren’t claiming them to be of your origin. Properly recognizing the source of your inspiration is vital to the whole process of knowledge creation (which every chef does through cooking). This can also serve as a way of preserving the original dishes from getting forgotten.

    • Sorted

      Appropriation of food is definitely an issue and we can totally see where you’re coming from. I think that with a lot of these podcast episodes the final conclusion we keep coming to is that transparency is so so important!!

  10. Margusenock

    I am shocked to hear about death threats because of paella burrito. What the hell is wrong with people? We have rights to live as we like as long as it is in line with the law. Not me, nor anybody else has any moral rights to judge people for their food, cloths, partner etc. choice. I would definitely try your paella burrito with a great pleasure! Sounds awesome. Love both! You might have created a new adorable meal. Screw the haters. They are just jealous.

    I don’t get how anyone can get personally offended with others’ food habits. Mixing is fun. It’s creative and opens does to other dimensions.

    Regarding fusion. Heh. Not really fusion but some food combinations. In Finland in our office we had “meal of the week” – red onions and bananas. As a salad. No, thank you! In other places they served pickles with honey and sour cream. And ufff that is tasty 🙂 my favorite mix is American pancakes with maple syrup+scrambled eggs+white beans. Love it! If and when I am in a hotel – this will be my breakfast 🙂

    P.s. tell me more about pizza waffle, please! Sounds like something I would like 🙂

    • Sorted

      It was a really delicious paella burrito haha!

      We’re actually doing a podcast episode on interesting food pairings later on this season – we reckon you’ll love it, haven’t heard of banana and red onion though!

      Here’s a link to the pizza waffle… i’s delish! -> https://sortedfood.com/recipe/11065

      • Margusenock

        Oooooh wow! I could not even imagine that it would really be a pizza waffle. Adorable! Thank you!

        Cant wait for the new podcast!

  11. Zexidon

    First comment ever, I think that when you create a fusion dish, you’re effectively creating a new genre of food and traditionalism doesn’t apply anymore. This kind of thinking saves my sanity whenever I look at Chinese takeaways here in the UK or in the US – immigrant Chinese food is its own cuisine to me, and shouldn’t be strictly compared to traditional Chinese dishes.

    IMO, part of the stigma with fusion food that’s inspired by traditional dishes is that the very act of saying it’s inspired by or based off a certain dish creates an idea of how a dish should taste or how it should be prepared. Even if the dish tastes great, it’s never going to quite be the same as what it “should” be and that upsets people, even though it really shouldn’t!

    Respecting the cuisines that you’re fusing should be a given, as that really is how you create the best food. Even non-fusion food that is approached callously can be terrible, it’s just that more things can go wrong with fusion compared to an already established cuisine.

    • Sorted

      Happy first comment!

      This is a really interesting comment, nice point about fusion food being a creation of a new genre almost. And exactly, let’s all stay away from the word ‘traditional’! Respect is key!

  12. Sgaski

    I think Barry was right, don’t label your take on a recipe as “traditional” but I also agree with Jamie and Ben, keep pushing the bar, some will work, some won’t.
    And I have to brag on my own fusion of Italian and Mexican, I get requests for my recipes all the time (which is kind of hard since I don’t measure anything).

    • Sorted

      Intrigued by this Italian and Mexican fusion… what kinda stuff have you made??

  13. Dimi

    Oh God there is so much to unpack in this discussion.
    I think fusion is great, and the way food and culture and art has grown and evolved for millennia. Nothing is truly “authentic” to one region if you go back far enough.
    Personally, I don’t think fusion in food can go “too far” and I don’t think anyone should be offended by it.
    If it doesn’t work/ is a bad combination, as Ben pointed out, it wont last very long. If it does work and it tastes good, who can be offended by that?
    I think offence usually comes from labelling. You can’t, as Barry pointed out, call something a “traditional” dish but then serve some fusion version with non-traditional elements.
    I think the reason so many people took offence to Jamie’s Paella Burrito was not because he put a paella into a burrito, but because, without the context of probably having watched the video, or knowing what Sorted and Jamie are all about, just assumed he did that because he thought they were both from the same part of the world, and that is what truly caused the offence.
    I think respecting and understanding the origins of cuisines and cultures is important, as well as understanding and unpacking what they are now, and what makes them great. And you can’t truly create great fusion food if you don’t.
    My favourite fusion food comes from places in the world where fusion happens naturally when immigration, (or historically slavery etc) has forced different cultures to live together and the fusion happens slowly over time. The Creole and Cajun cuisine in New Orleans comes to mind as a personal favourite.
    But also, having lived and grown up in Australia, we don’t really have a long history of our own food and cuisine, everything (and I speak for white/immigrated Australians obviously) has come from immigration, everything has kind of fused over time together. Growing up going to an “Australian” restaurant involved looking through a menu and choosing between a pasta dish, a curry dish (usually butter chicken), fish and chips, some sort of lamb/chicken souvlaki, etc etc.
    Only in the last decade have we gone kind of backwards in a way, and many chefs have started going back to native plants and nuts and ingredients that indigenous people here have been eating and cooking with for centuries, and now that’s getting incorporated into existing cuisines, but also we are forming a whole new cuisine out of it all and it’s really exciting.
    And finally to unpack Barry’s last statement about Italian cuisine, I don’t think the point of fusion food is to try and make something “better” than the original, and if you set out to do that, again you will end up upsetting and offending people. It’s about making something different, innovative and delicious. And as to preserving the “original” or “traditional” recipes, they will always find a way of sticking around, and being passed on for as long as people like and enjoy eating them and cooking them. And I feel like this is where the conversation ties back to what we were discussing last week about food standards, convenience versus quality, and teaching/educating people, especially young people and kids, about food and ingredients and cooking so we don’t lose these traditions.
    And now that I’ve written another mini essay on “Dimi’s opinion on everything”, I’ll leave it there. Another great topic lads.

    • Sorted

      Love reading your comments Dimi!

      True, imagine how much unrecorded food history there is – how do we know what is and isn’t authentic? I was literally about to write that I think the offence comes when something is labelled as authentic but you beat me to it!

      There was definitely some misunderstanding around the paella burrito lol. Creole and Cajun cuisine are definitely great examples of fusion food working!

      Really interesting comments on Australian cuisine… it must be so exciting to see what these chefs are creating.

    • theanita1

      Adding onto the “Australian” thing – dim sims were made by a guy in Melbourne who wanted Aussies to try Chinese food so made this snack to make the food more accessible. Now it’s part of everyone’s fish n chip menu in Australia.
      I personally prefer my dim sims grilled on the barbie with ETA BBQ sauce (nothing compares to this brand, it’s so sweet and sour and delicious)

      • Dimi

        Yes, dimmies! the great Australian fusion snack! I like a south melbourne style dim sim, fried and served with soy sauce!

  14. danielahitstheroad

    I’m saddened by the fact that the average restaurant in my area tends to adjust whatever cuisine they’re offering to what is perceived as the local taste. I love Greek food, but I never get any of the amazing dishes I’ve eaten in Greece back home in Greek restaurants.
    Taking great ingredients from all over the world and creating some amazing new stuff with it – why would that bother anyone? I don’t get it.
    If you take Italian food ( because Barry mentioned it and because my family comes from Naples and therefore I can speak with at least a bit of expertise): as Ben said, they got pasta from China, they didn’t invent pizza either in the narrow sense because flatbreads with something on it had been around for millenia prior, what we consider classic italian with tomatoes, peppers, chilies only is around since the 1600s. That’s already fusion, like any other cuisine in the world since people got up and moved around goods and themselves. It’s all a giant melting pot and that’s why I think fusion can’t go too far. Sometimes it doesn’t work and therefore will fall beneath the culinary workbench in the long run. What works will stick around.
    In the 40+ years I’ve been commuting between Italy and Germany I’ve seen the Italian ‘everyday’ cuisine change A LOT. Hardly anyone cooks like the nonnas anymore, either due to time restrictions, lack of interest in traditions or just because when you are exposed to other influences you tend to incorporate that in your everyday life, even if it’s a turn to the worse.Pizza per metre and restaurants with no wine spring to mind. Twenty years ago, there were no fastfood chains in the south of Italy. Now they’re everywhere.
    I think it’s important to preserve the culinary traditions and, if need be, protect authentic dishes/processes. But on top of that, play with everything you can get your hands on.
    What people seem to be most offended by is labelling; you can’t call it X if there’s Y in it and my Gran never cooked it that way, ignoring that there usually are as many variations on a dish as there are villages in a region.
    It’s just plain daft.
    PS: I really liked the paella burrito…

    • Sorted

      That’s a massive shame that you don’t really get to have authentic food readily available!

      That’s actually crazy that pasta and pizza are technically fusion foods. Hmmm that’s really interesting to hear the change you’ve seen in Italian food over the years, preserving those traditions seems like it should be really important but it’s nice to see you’re so open minded on it!

      PS: So did we.

  15. badinflspeaks

    I agree with Barry (as much as I hate to say that and it’s happening more with each podcast). It really depends on titles and presentation. Food is meant to marry and evolve across cultures and locations. If you’re going to call or imply that something is a traditional version though, it needs to be traditional.

    Example is y’all’s Ultimate USA battle and the meatloaf Mike made (which I’m entirely blaming James for). I spent the episode shaking my head in disbelief thinking, “is this what they think a traditional meatloaf is?” There isn’t pecans, cinnamon or marmalade in traditional meatloaf. If there hadn’t been an implication of ultimate American, I would have shrugged and thought “interesting meatloaf.”

    Food can just be such a personal thing. One sure way to start a fight in my family is to bring up the proper way to make dumplings for chicken and dumplings. Mom and I are die-hard, from scratch, rolled dumplings people. My sister likes the abomination of drop dumplings using Bisquick (or whomp biscuits if she’s feeling particularly lazy). We all get so offended by what the others like which in some ways is so very silly, but there are so many memories associated with certain dishes that going against that almost insults the memories.

    I swear I meant to go somewhere with all that and I’m not sure I actually did.

    • Sorted

      Oh god, it’s always a bit alarming when you start to agree with Baz, right?

      Hahaa, you’ve got a fair point there… how would you make your meatloaf? We totally get it wrong sometimes and this is where we love getting feedback from you guys!

      Subjectivity of food is actually a topic that came up in a podcast we’ve filmed today for a later episode, hopefully there’ll be more interesting stuff to delve in to there.

      • badinflspeaks

        My grandmother’s basic meatloaf was:
        1 ¼ pounds ground sirloin
        3 slices bread, in pieces
        1 finely chopped medium onion
        1 egg
        ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
        1 teaspoon salt
        ¼ teaspoon pepper
        1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
        ¼ cup catsup
        Mix all together – your hands work best. Place in a baking pan and shape into loaf or oval about 2 inches thick. If you want, top it with uncooked bacon or tomato sauce: 1 cup catsup, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon mustard, and ¼ cup water – mix and pour over meat. Bake at 375F about 75 minutes.

        Mom’s side of the family is all about the beef. Dad’s side did a pork and beef version.

        We mainly make a tex-mex style chicken loaf now. But we specifically call it a chicken loaf to differentiate it from a beef based meatloaf.

  16. Anya Lampesberger

    As a people Austrians (of which I am one, so I think I can say this) have a history and a tendency of being offended by everything. That can be food, culture, you name it; if it exists we’ve probably gotten angry about it at one point or another. Within the country, there are huge divides about food, and what is the ‘correct’ or ‘superior’ way of eating/serving certain dishes. This goes to a point where the government in my home town have put up ash trays labelled with question about which dish or way to eat a traditional dish is better and two compartments for cigarettes, and it has actually hugely improved the rate of people using ash trays instead of littering. That being said, I don’t think many people in Austria would be offended, if you were to fuse it with a different cuisine, we would just think that it is no longer a the dish it originally was.

    So for example, if you served me a traditional Kaiserschmarren (which is basically a torn apart massive fluffy pancake) that had raisins in it (typical Austrian debate: do you put raisins in your Kaiserschmarren or not) I would be more offended than if you fused it with, say, churros or a crème brûlée and created an entirely new dish. However, I would argue that it is no longer a traditional Kaiserschmarren (and here I agree with Barry’s point) and should therefore be called something else, or at least be labelled as non-traditional/inspired/fusion or something the like. So, even though I feel very strongly about Austrian food, I think this lies more within what I regard as ‘actual’ Austrian food and the divide between two or more traditional versions of the same dish, and which one I regard as ‘correct’ because I grew up with it. If someone went on and fused Austrian cuisine (which, let’s be honest, is already a fusion of many different cuisines of countries that were invaded) with something else, I would be very excited about it and happy to try it.

    I personally don’t think that fusion can go to far, and agree with Ben in that it is the future and the way forward. In my mind, however, anything fusion is separated from the original. I had a debate with a mate about Domino’s the other night, where he asked me how I can enjoy Domino’s when I’ve also eaten real Italian pizza. And it made me think about how I view Domino’s and I realised that, for me, Domino’s is not pizza, it’s comfort food. I don’t go to the place when I really fancy a pizza, I go to it when I’ve had a long hard day and can’t be asked to cook for myself and just want to enjoy some trash on Netflix. When I want pizza, I will search for a real Italian place, that is ideally even run by people with Italian heritage, who know what they are doing and are serving the Italian classics.

    Chicken & Waffles is my all-time favourite fusion food, though I feel that it has become such a staple over the past years, that very little people still think of it as fusion, even though it stems from the fusion of Native American, African, European and American cuisine (soul food).

    • Dimi

      Love your point about Pizza and Dominos! I’m very much the same, there’s a time and a place for both.
      My brother and I had a term for places like Domino’s, we called it “Dirty Pizza”. So when we were hanging out, if we decided we wanted to eat Pizza the conversation always started with “Do you feel like Pizza Pizza or Dirty Pizza?”

    • Sorted

      Hmmm, even when we’re labbing recipes there seems to be a lot of debate within cultures of how things should be cooked. Your comment’s really interesting!

      And absolute agree with you and Dimi here… there’s a time and place for both! Also, chicken and waffles is def a winner!!

  17. VixReviews

    Oh gosh, there’s quite a lot to unpack here, and I’m afraid this may be a long comment. Hopefully it’ll give you guys something to think on though, as I feel that throughout this podcast you always got near the main issue but then veered off as cognitive dissonance hit. You pretty much hit it at the end when talking about Barry and his pasta, it’s about respect for both cultures.

    To give an example of what I’m trying to get at, imagine Scottish/English fusion food. Imagine all the incredible dishes that you could possibly create that display the best of both. Now think about a stereotypical ukip-type public school boy who thinks Scots are a bunch of yokels who only eat haggis, wear kilts, and beat each other up. Would this straw man create delicious fusion food, or would he throw haggis on a plate of English food and call it good? To create good fusion food you have to have respect for the cuisine of both cultures.

    To add a bit more, you briefly passed over both the slave trade and British-indian food. These, I would say, are almost mirrors of each other. Most of the food created as a result of the slave trade was created by the slaves, as the created their own beautiful culture out of what they had available, but with respect for the ingredients they had on hand due to the culture of family that they built around one of the few aspects of life they could control. British Indian food on the other hand was largely about taking bits but losing a lot along the way.

    This brings me to a personal example of when I have been offended by food. I’ve mentioned a few times on here working in France at a little pizzeria. Well, we did more than just pizza, we also did things with chips. One of those things on the menu had cheddar cheese on. Well, that’s what the menu said, and that’s what they called it, but they pulled it out the fridge the first time and it turned out to be those plasticy American cheese slices. I wasn’t so much offended by its existence (I mean, I was a little…), but that they honestly thought that this was cheddar, and that all British cheese was like this. It was the concept that they thought their food, their culture, and in those ways themselves, was better than me.

    So, if we look at Jamie’s paella under that light, you can see how a few people may have got the mistaken impression that he was like the straw man above. That he thought they were just all a bunch of foreigners and who cares about the difference, they’re all inferior. Clearly that isn’t what he thought, but if that was the only thing you had seen of him, and there was a lifetime of Nigel farage’s in the world who really thought that, you can see how that would be offensive.

    And finally, back to Italian fusion. Is it Italian fusion if you throw the best of your cuisine on cheap dried pasta, or does that not respect some of the fundemental aspects of Italian cuisine.

    So that was a bit of a rant, sorry about that. I just wanted to bring privilege and respect further into the conversation as I feel that they are the central point to consider. It’s similar to the discussion surrounding cultural appropriation, it’s fine to do it, but you should understand and respect the culture in question. Be aware if you come from a culture that has a history of turning up and just taking whatever it wants to listen to people who’s culture it is. The best fusion comes from exchanges of things freely given, not stuff taken without context and ruined.

    You guys do this really well, like, 99% of the time by bring excited about the food and the context in which it is both cooked and eaten, and wanting to show this to your audience. Celebrate both cultures with your fusions, discover what aspects make each one different, and you can fuse anything with anything else.

    • Dimi

      “I’m afraid this may be a long comment” Literally me after every discussion so far this season.
      Do you think you were offended by the whole “cheddar cheese incident” (for lack of a better phrase) because you thought that they thought they were “superior” to you and your culture/food? because they lumped you in with American/processed food? or was it just a case of it was not labelled correctly?
      Or was it just poorly researched on their part and you were offended to be put in the same category as what you yourself have deemed an inferior product to “YOUR” cultures version of it.
      I don’t know if that question makes sense, but I hope you get what I’m asking

      • VixReviews

        Gosh, I didn’t think anyone would read my whole comment, thanks 🙂

        I think the cheddar cheese incident was initially caused by the labelling, but the source was they thought they were superior to me and my culture. While I was there they made other unpleasant comments about British culture, food, and people, this one was the most memorable as it was objectively wrong.

        Thinking about it, maybe that’s why people object so strenuously to minor things like food. The tiny micro-aggressions slowly get to you more and more, but it can be really difficult to point out specific incidents or specific actions that were the problem to people who cannot see them. So, when something happens where you can say “hah, you see that? It’s happening, it’s real, this is an objective fact that is wrong that I can point at”, you’ll say it louder in the hopes that people will actually see what’s going on.

        So I suppose with the cheddar cheese incident, it would probably have not been a big issue if they hadn’t spent the previous month saying how awful British cooking was, but saying it as little throwaway comments and ‘jokes’ that were so difficult to pin down, as each one was also just a tiny little thing.

    • Sorted

      Definitely think that respect is a massive factor if you’re trying to recreate a dish or take influence from different cultures. Your pizzeria story again highlights the importance of transparency in food! I reckon there was a lot of misunderstanding around the paella burrito haha!

      Thanks so much for the comment, definitely gave us a lot to think about!!

  18. marityne

    Most interesting fusion food I’ve had was from a food truck a few years ago. They mixed African with Italian and it was delicious! Lamb and rice with an Italian sauce and Berbere spices. You wouldn’t ever think those two would go together but they melded perfectly into one amazing dish.

    • Lexcelsior

      Ooo, that sounds incredible! African food is so unique, but adding something more familiar like an Italian sauce would be a delicious combination.

  19. JoRo

    Was watching that thinking I’ve never been offended by food, then it dawned on me that actually very recently I saw someone make an “apple strudel” using tortilla wraps. The concept was ok-ish and they assured me it tasted great, but I couldn’t get past the use of the name, what they’d made was absolutely not an apple strudel and calling as such felt like a bit of an insult to my Oma and my German heritage because strudel is so iconically German.
    So have agree with Barry use of names is important, if something is inspired by something else say that.
    Not sure what I’d class it as, but last week had a fried chicken burger topped with haggis, and whisky mayo, it was amazing.

    • Lexcelsior

      Yeah, I’m more offended by someone calling that “apple strudel” than the actual concept. If done right, that could be pretty good. But they should definitely come up with a new name. It’s like a cheesecake spring roll that some asian fast food places sell, but they call it just that. I don’t know what I’d think if I ordered “New York Style cheesecake” off a menu but got a plate of two spring rolls, haha.

      • JoRo

        Trying to imagine what my reaction would be!? But yeah, naming things accurately definitely plays an important roll, if nothing else so you know what you are getting!

    • Sorted

      You know what, we’ve not had many people saying they would be offended but this is a great example of why you could be! I think it again comes down to claiming something is traditional when, especially in this case, it wasn’t.

      And wow… that sounds delicious!!

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