Each year, The Fancy Food Show offers food industry professionals the opportunity to check out the latest trends, products, flavor profiles, and other innovations to hit the market, providing insight into the ever-changing culinary landscape.
For 2022, fusion cuisine has enjoyed a major revival with some mash-ups you might not expect. What were the top fusion innovations?
Spices ranging from merely warm to volcanically hot are part and parcel of Indian cuisine, and with flavor profiles so distinctive, it’s hard to imagine pairings with, say, Japanese or Mexican dishes. However, that’s just what some enterprising brands are attempting.
Although India and Japan are both Asian nations, their cuisine couldn’t be more different. Still, Karma Bites found the perfect way to pair the two styles, with a tasty snack made from popped lotus seeds (roasted dried seeds from lotus flowers) and intense wasabi flavoring.
Heritage went in a completely different direction with their Mexican Style Basmati Rice, pairing authentic Basmati rice from Northern India with tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeño, paprika, and more to create a Mexican-style flavor profile.
Pasta is very much like bread in that both are incredibly satisfying complex carbohydrates that lend themselves to pairing with a wide range of ingredients. With that being said, connecting the dots between penne and churros might seem like a bit of a stretch.
Not so for Vintage Italia, which excels at delivering packaged penne straws in a variety of flavors, including crispy, sweet, and spicy cinnamon sugar. Perhaps more surprising than the mixture of Italian and Mexican flavors is the fact that this product is gluten-free.
English cuisine is perhaps best known for traditional comfort foods like fish and chips, bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and spotted dick. However, it was once the saying that the sun never set on this empire, and the result is that the country has accumulated food trends on a global scale.
Of late, the British (and the rest of the world) have leaned into the flavors of African cuisine, notably ingredients common to the West African area.
While peppers, curries, cinnamon, cumin, and even cardamom are frequent inclusions in this regional cuisine, the hot trend at the moment is the sweet, tart tamarind, which The Jam Stand has paired with figs to create a delectable spread that tastes great on everything from toast to a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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Americans are fond of Japanese standards like sushi, tempura, ramen, and tonkatsu, while Japanese diners are enamored of classic American staples like burgers and fries. Still, putting these two disparate cuisines together seems like an exercise in futility.
Luckily, Tao Kae Noi took the challenge to heart and created an instant classic for both cultures: Crispy Seaweed Sour Cream & Onion. It’s exactly what you think it is and far tastier than it has any right to be.
Sorbet is essentially the French version of English sherbet, Italian sorbetto, or Turkish sharbat, proving that plenty of cuisines borrow, tweak, and make food items their own.
Along those lines, NYC creamery Tipsy Scoop offers a range of fusion innovations, including French-style sorbets that go boozy with cocktail flavors from other nations. The Mango Margarita and the Raspberry Limoncello sorbets are delicious examples linked to Mexican and Italian bevs, respectively.
American cuisine can be original, to be sure, but since the country is a melting pot of national heritage, it’s no shock that fusion with international cuisine is incredibly common.
The latest obsession with hot honey is exemplified by the American-Chinese flavor fusion found in Runamok Szechuan Peppercorn Infused Honey. Frangiosa Farms offers a different twist on American-Chinese fusion that takes on another timely trend with their Reishi Mushrooms in Raw Honey.
Fusion dining may be nothing new, but it’s certainly trending, as evidenced by the vast number of innovative, crossover cuisine products featured at The Fancy Food Show this year.