The expression “fusion cuisine” is generally used to refer to a style of cooking combining ingredients and techniques from different foodspheres. Asian fusion restaurants, for instance, offer blends of various cuisines of different Asian countries and the culinary traditions of the places where they have become increasingly popular. Similarly, the Tex-Mex cuisine combines the South-western United States culinary system with the Mexican foodsphere, while the Pacific Rim cuisine is based on the mix of different traditions from the various island nations; and so on and so forth. In all these cases, foods based on one culinary culture are prepared using ingredients, flavours, and techniques inherent to another culture. Consider for instance the case of “Taco Pizza”, a pizza made with cheddar and pepper jack cheese, tomato sauce, refried beans and other common taco components; or that of the so-called “fusion-sushi”, including several variations of rolling maki with different types of rice and ingredients, such as curry and basmati rice, cheese, tomato sauce, raw meat, etc. According to the etymology of the word fusion, the main feature characterising fusion cuisine could be described in terms of a harmonious combination of different culinary traditions in order to create innovative and seamless dishes. This has important implications not only on the material side, but also and most importantly with respect to the sociocultural sphere and the symbolic dimension. Far from simply coinciding with material needs or physiological and perceptive processes, nutrition concerns all the various activities, discourses, and images that surround and are associated with it, becoming a form of expression of cultural identity. Sometimes, however, fusion cuisines run the risk to degenerate into “con-fusion cuisines”, causing inevitable clashes between incompatible flavours and textures, and fomenting a chaotic overlapping between different foodspheres and “food identities”. While novelty is certainly commendable, restraint and continuity are also important. The same concepts of tradition and innovation, moreover, are complex and multifaceted, and need to be further analysed and discussed. Building on the analysis of some specific case studies, chosen for their relevance within the wide range of examples of fusion cuisine, we aim at addressing such issues and investigating the processes of translation between different substances, sensorialities, and eating experiences, focusing on the negotiation of the sense of food in specific situations.

Con-Fusion Cuisines: Melting Foods and Hybrid Identities

STANO, Simona
2017

Abstract

The expression “fusion cuisine” is generally used to refer to a style of cooking combining ingredients and techniques from different foodspheres. Asian fusion restaurants, for instance, offer blends of various cuisines of different Asian countries and the culinary traditions of the places where they have become increasingly popular. Similarly, the Tex-Mex cuisine combines the South-western United States culinary system with the Mexican foodsphere, while the Pacific Rim cuisine is based on the mix of different traditions from the various island nations; and so on and so forth. In all these cases, foods based on one culinary culture are prepared using ingredients, flavours, and techniques inherent to another culture. Consider for instance the case of “Taco Pizza”, a pizza made with cheddar and pepper jack cheese, tomato sauce, refried beans and other common taco components; or that of the so-called “fusion-sushi”, including several variations of rolling maki with different types of rice and ingredients, such as curry and basmati rice, cheese, tomato sauce, raw meat, etc. According to the etymology of the word fusion, the main feature characterising fusion cuisine could be described in terms of a harmonious combination of different culinary traditions in order to create innovative and seamless dishes. This has important implications not only on the material side, but also and most importantly with respect to the sociocultural sphere and the symbolic dimension. Far from simply coinciding with material needs or physiological and perceptive processes, nutrition concerns all the various activities, discourses, and images that surround and are associated with it, becoming a form of expression of cultural identity. Sometimes, however, fusion cuisines run the risk to degenerate into “con-fusion cuisines”, causing inevitable clashes between incompatible flavours and textures, and fomenting a chaotic overlapping between different foodspheres and “food identities”. While novelty is certainly commendable, restraint and continuity are also important. The same concepts of tradition and innovation, moreover, are complex and multifaceted, and need to be further analysed and discussed. Building on the analysis of some specific case studies, chosen for their relevance within the wide range of examples of fusion cuisine, we aim at addressing such issues and investigating the processes of translation between different substances, sensorialities, and eating experiences, focusing on the negotiation of the sense of food in specific situations.
New Semiotics. Between Tradition and Innovation - 12th World Congress of Semiotics
Sofia, Bulgaria
16-20 settembre 2014
New Semiotics. Between Tradition and Innovation
NBU Publishing House & IASS Publications
904
913
978-954-535-943-9
http://www.iass-ais.org/proceedings2014/Semio2014Proceedings.pdf
Food, fusion, semiotics, hybridisation, veridiction square (Greimas), Hjelmslev
STANO, Simona
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1645420
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