Crossing Culinary Boundaries with Fusion Cuisine 打破厨房的界限融合各地的美食

By Linda Orlando

对绝大多数大厨来说,他们都有自己特有的一套烹饪风格,犹如香料、调料、配搭方式和用料的选择。比如,酱油是中国餐的特征;而意大利烹饪就常常会放牛至(一种香料,译者注);如果有塔茂丽(一种类似粽子那样做法的玉米粉蒸肉,译者注),那一定是墨西哥餐了。现在可好了,感谢大家在厨房里也与世界接轨,不再保持自己单一的特色,而是混合了各地的美食,从多方面创造新的美味。

众所周知的烹饪创新者,奥尔夫冈·帕克已经被大众认为他是融合各地美食的鼓吹者,有好几十年了。在上个世纪的七十年代,帕克就想要把地球两边的烹调方式融合在一起,就是把欧洲的烹饪手法与亚洲的烹调技巧结合起来。帕克是在欧洲学的烹饪技术,但是他也精通东方的烹调手艺。所以他就决定在加州开始了他的创新实验,正好在这两地的中间。

欧亚美食同其他的融合事项一样,都是后来才发展起来的,因为提取了两个不同文化的佳肴加之不同的烹调技巧。比如,中国的锅贴里面的餡是英国传统的羊肉泥。意大利的调味饭里面放了日本芥末或者生姜。把不同的风格混在一起产生了一个绝对崭新的口味,比如把法式小火慢炖烹调方式加上亚洲的传统主要食物,豆腐。另外一种混合不同的烹饪可以是不那么明显的,比如把泰国食谱用越南的烹调方式来处理。实际上,令人兴奋的组合方式是无限制的。

尽管全国各地的很多餐厅都以含有混合各种烹调技术的菜单引以为荣,但是把不同文化的烹饪技术组合起来得到成功并不是一件简单的事。在纽约和洛杉矶的周围,是最会欣赏这样以混合烹调方式创作的美食家,这可能是因为不同文化已经融入了这些地区。在那些有各样文化背景的餐厅的城市里的居民,也就会接受在同一个餐厅里有不同文化背景烹调的组合美食。

常见对这种混合各种烹调方式的批评主要是觉得不伦不类,觉得不同文化的美食应该在不同的餐厅才对。如果把不同文化背景的烹调技术和原料放到一个盘子里,那就更不可想象了。那些制作混合菜的厨师是没事找事,就是想创新。传统的菜谱是合大众的口味的,但是现在看来好像已经过时了。一个大厨要在餐饮业里出名,总得要搞一些新化样。很可惜,这样做的结果常常是把餐饮业搞得一团糟。

让人们对融合各种文化的烹饪方式感到畏惧的一个原因是人们对此的评价分歧之大。某一个人可能对凯瑟色拉里放日本的天麸罗干贝感到非常之好;但是另外一个人可能会感到厨房里的某人犯了一个不可饶恕的错误。成功的融合各种文化的烹饪大厨发现了那些前所未有的组合,而且是符合多数人的口味,即使是这样,还是会受到批评。


讨论问题:
1. 你对这篇文章是否感到新奇?

2. 请描写你所知道的跨文化的餐饮(跨地方性的和国际性的)。

3. 你欣赏那些跨文化的餐饮?

For most chefs there are specific boundaries between culinary styles in terms of spices, sauces, fillings, and recipe ingredients. Soy sauce is always associated with Chinese cooking; Italian dishes usually contain oregano; and tamales are usually a Mexican dish. But now, thanks to fusion cooking, there are no holds barred when it comes to jumbling up typical culinary stereotypes to create new taste sensations.

Wolfgang Puck, one of the most notorious culinary experimenters for several decades, is considered by some to be the original instigator of fusion cuisine. In the 1970s, Puck had the idea for pairing two styles of cooking that were on opposite sides of the world from a geographical standpoint: European cooking with Asian cooking. Having been trained in Europe, Puck was also well versed in Asian cooking. So he decided to launch his new experiment in California, smack dab in the middle between the two.

Eurasian cuisine, like other fusion methods developed later, blends ingredients and/or cooking techniques from the two different cultures. For example, Chinese pot sticker dumplings might be filled with traditional English ingredients, such as ground lamb. Risotto may be infused with wasabi or ginger. The styles fused together could be vastly different, such as the French cooking technique of poaching being combined with an Asian staple, tofu. Other possible combinations of culinary cuisine can be subtle, such as combining Thai recipes with Vietnamese cooking styles. The possibilities for exciting combinations are infinite.

The culinary synthesis resulting from fusion cooking is difficult to achieve successfully, despite the fact that there are numerous restaurants across the country that boast a menu of fusion delicacies. The greatest numbers of fusion eateries are located in urban areas such as New York City and Los Angeles, where a cultural melting pot already exists. In cities where residents are already dining at various ethnic restaurants, the population is more amenable to culinary integration inside the same restaurant.

Critics of fusion cuisine refer to it as "confusion" cuisine, saying that too often, chefs combine ingredients that shouldn’t even be in the same kitchen, much less on the same plate. "Confusion" cuisine usually is the result of a chef trying too hard to create something innovative. Classic recipes are so ordinary now that they are almost passé, so in order for a chef to make a name in the culinary world, it is essential to try something new. Unfortunately, the result is often a culinary nightmare.

One of the things that makes fusion cooking such a daunting task is the fact that people’s likes and dislikes vary so widely. One person might think it perfectly wonderful to pair a garlic Caesar salad with tempura battered scallops, while another person would think someone in the kitchen had made a grave error. Successful fusion chefs are the ones who discover unheard-of combinations that appeal to most palates, despite the fact that there will always be critics.

… Despite the … criticism of fusion cuisine, you should give it a try to see what you think. But be sure to do your homework before you do, or you may end up in the middle of a gustatory minefield. Research restaurants, ask people you know for recommendations, perhaps even stake out the restaurant and take a look at the menu before deciding to give it a try. No matter how much you love one particular world of cuisine, you might discover that having another world collide with it might not be so bad after all.




Discussion Questions:
1.  What do you find interesting in this article?
2.  Please describe any 'fusion cuisine' (regional or international) that you have tasted.
3.  What would be a good combination of ( regional or international) cuisine that would be pleasing to your palate?
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