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Old 05-29-2010, 07:02 AM   #1
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American Fusion: Modern American Cuisine

From some posts I've read here, there seems to be a misconception as to what exactly modern American cuisine is. It's not bland greasy unhealthy fastfoods and buffets. Traditional American Cuisine dates back to the colonialist's interpretation of American-Indian cooking. But an influx of immigrants, a focus on health & nutrition, and a focus on fresh regional ingredients caused an explosion that is a feast for the senses.

American Fusion is one aspect of the American Cuisine:
(incomplete list as I'm no expert but please feel free to add more)

TexMex - a fusion of Texan cuisine and Mexican
Louisiana Creole & Cajun - a fusion with French and Caribbean
Soulfood - African-American with slavery roots
Hawaiian Fusion - fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Polynesian, & Portuguese
California Cuisine - sometimes related to French Nouvelle and incorporates influences from Latin America, Mediterranean, and Asian. Southern California incorporates a strong influence of Mexico as well.
Focus is on health, nutrition, and use of fresh regional ingredients.
Amish Cuisine - Pennsylvania Dutch

Post favorite recipes, menus, or names of restaurants that are the best of the best for examples of American Fusion. Or add other American Fusion categories to my list.

Note: I will be doing another thread (after this thread finishes "marinating") based on another aspect of American Cuisine...the unique dishes offered by the various regions within America dictated by their fresh local ingredients available like a New England Clambake and Maine Lobster, Maryland/Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab, Alaskan King Crab and Salmon, Southwestern cuisine, Southern cooking, etc etc. I felt this was all very different from American Fusion thus the separation of threads.

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Old 05-29-2010, 08:05 AM   #2
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I've always thought of American Cuisine as uniquely American dishes made from local ingredients. While, perhaps, influenced from other cultures in style of cooking or the perference for the heavy use of one spice over another, the use of primarily local ingredients makes it uniquely American.

Personally, I don't like the term or the application of "fusion." While it may be true that, for instance, Cajun is heavily derived from French and Spanish, with some minor Native American and African influences, what emerged was a unique flavor and not merely the marriage (jamming together) of two or more existing cuisines. Unique because of local resources, not foreign culture.

To me, the usual application of fusion is a muddied flavor, less than either culture was individually. Fusion destroys the uniqueness of two established cultures with the result ending as a poor, unsatisfying self-indulgence.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:47 AM   #3
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Hi Selkie

I did say above that American fusion "is one aspect of American Cuisine".

I actually edited my original OP but it timed out so I sent it to Admin and am awaiting a response from Alix. The edit included a note that I will be doing another thread about Regional American Cuisine such as Maine Lobster & Clambake, Virginia and Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab, Southwestern, Southern style cooking, Alaskan Salmon and King Crab etc etc...but I felt that this is very different from American Fusion and therefore wanted to keep it separate. The two of them together make up American Cuisine in my opinion. If Alix does copy and paste the edit I sent her then this post will be redundant...but that's okay

This thread was inspired by a comment by someone in another thread called "Which Country has the Best Food" where the poster said that Modern American Cuisine is buffets and fast food focused mostly on sandwiches.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:08 AM   #4
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I think one of the best examples is Italian-American like pizza... In this country we put things on pizza that Italy wouldn't dare, but it works... I also believe that Wolfgang Puck is one of the first to introduce fusion food in this country, I don't recall the name of his restaurant in Cali, but I believe it's French- Asian...
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyanne View Post
Hi Selkie... I did say above that American fusion "is one aspect of American Cuisine".
I was just venting about modern fusion in general. It messes with my sensibilities.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:35 AM   #6
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This is the place to do it, selkie and it was a interesting point

Here is a youtube with fun music and yummy food pics for an American Fusion Restaurant called "Clear Water" in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The site is safe because I checked it out:
Click on: Crazy Water | American Fusion Cuisine

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Old 05-29-2010, 11:02 AM   #7
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P.S. After you watch the video above (it's short and you only need to watch the first half because it repeats), then you should click on "The Restaurant" in the left column. It will show another video but this time it's of the chef preparing some of the amazingly scrumptious looking dishes...one using Wisconsin cheese of course.

Crazy Water | American Fusion Cuisine
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimizkitchen View Post
...Wolfgang Puck is one of the first to introduce fusion food in this country, I don't recall the name of his restaurant in Cali, but I believe it's French- Asian...
"Chinois" in Santa Monica, near Venice. Had a big table to ourselves, a holiday family feast. One of the best restaurant meals I've ever had.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:53 AM   #9
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I have traveled this country border-to-border and coast-to-coast and was amazed at the difference from when I did it as a kid and when I did it 8 years ago. When I was a kid, heck, when I was a young adult (in my 20s and even 30s), you couldn't find good Mexican food west of the Mississippi except in big cities. Now even small towns have great Mexican restaurants. When I lived in Hawaii, Pacific Rim cuisine was the vanguard of "fusion" cuisine. A little Asian, a little California, a little Hawaii. I think, personally, that Vietnamese is probably one of the earliest fusion cuisines, that is French and Asian mixed.

"Pennsylvania Dutch" also known as Amish cooking. We have several communities that pride themselves on this cooking ... but I think the people who like it go for the sweets and pastries. The meals to me don't even vaguely resemble the German food I ate there as a child, so yes, it is probably uniquely American.

When we were on the road, we found many little pockets of different cuisines. I think the best thing about our country is the fact that we come from a multitude of different backgrounds and this is reflected in our cuisine.

I can't even wrap my mind around "California Cuisine". It is a huge state and ... well, can't imagine being able to generalize what it is. How about "Confusion Cuisine"? Seriously, I'm just kidding. Much of my family is in California and I spent many of my growing-up years there. It is just that there are too many influences (to me) to call it a cuisine in and of itself. What you eat in San Fransisco isn't going to vaguely resemble what you eat in the Mojave, and that won't resemble what you eat just across the border from Tijuana.
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