Thursday, 21 May 2009

Rediscovering Britain

"No fusion here"
Gellert Hotel, Budapest 2006


Each time I visit the UK I learn something new about the place, about the economy, about new customs, about the changing fashion, and often about the language.

On my last flying visit I was shocked by the effects of the credit crunch, by the rise in prices and the closure of many large and even more smaller shops.

I was thrilled by the clothes, especially the wonderful shoes on sale. They come in the most amazing shapes and colours and with ever more amazing heels. What I found even more fascinating was actually to see young woman wearing their five-inch stilettos on a Saturday night in town!

New food, new language

When my niece and nephew were younger, I would always learn new “cool” words from them. Now they are older they use a similar language to mine!

This last visit I discovered that yet again there was a new language to learn, that has come about through the appearance of numerous new and interesting fast-food stores and restaurants in every high street.

This new food is called “fusion food”, that is combinations of foods with different countries of origin, and is now to be found on every high street, bringing many new dishes that I had not come across before.

Ÿ Thai green curry pie, peas and mash,
Ÿ Masala chicken tikka pizza
Ÿ Indian tapas

all alongside good “old-fashioned” curry and chips!

I had never heard of “fusion food” before but when I googled it there are pages and pages of suggestions. There were also fusion restaurants, fusion recipes, fusion catering services, fusion lifestyle, fusion clothing, even something headed fusion descriptions, whatever that maybe! So it is not that new at all. Just new to me.

Fusion

I suppose the nearest thing that I had previously heard about before, resembling fusion food, was the chips with curry sauce served at a chippie in West Bromwich long before I even went off to Budapest in 1989. It was however not at that time available in Norwich!

Was this then a combination of the best of British and Indian?

I think that these days “fusion food” means something a bit more sophisticated.

I spotted a few different trends. There was the use of a traditional dish adding new ingredients like a pizza with Mexican toppings, there were noodle or rice dishes from different countries being combined, while “wraps” contain just about anything theses days from chicken curry to mozarella.

There are restaurants selling entirely new dishes created from ingredients from different cultures, and there are restaurants selling dishes from various different Asian countries all under one roof, and Italian too.

Fusion food, that was my new expression when I was in UK in March. I look forward with interest to my next language lesson this summer!

Notes


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_cuisine


http://www.waitrose.com/food/celebritiesandarticles/foodissues/9805130.aspx


PS

Below are few of the pizzas available on a flyer advertising a new pizza delivery service. Apart from the usual Italian ones that are still available you can also purchase the following –

Hawaian - sweet Caribbean chicken, sweet corn and pineapple
Mexican special- onions, spicy mince. Jalapenos (peppers) and crushed chilli
Meat Mayhem - pepperoni, meat tikka, spicy beef and green peppers
Classic- onions chiken-tikka, pineapple, green chilli, green peppers.
New Oriental Express – onions, pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms

Extra toppings - tikka, spicy mince, tandori etc, etc

By the time I got to the end of this list I had actually forgotten that I was reading about pizzas!



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