Wikipedia: “Fusion cuisine combines elements of different culinary traditions. Cuisines of this type are not categorized according to any one particular cuisine style and have played a part in innovations of many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s.”
Now, apparently, the white-hating culture police have decided it is yet another example of unacceptable white privilege for us to even attempt to cook an ethnic dish. And, my oh my, if we don’t do it exactly right or, worse, do something fusion-y, then we deserve to be pilloried for boorishly disrespecting other people’s ethnic heritages.
Did you know that “white chefs have more freedom to play with other people’s food than chefs of color do, which creates inherent inequality in the field”? The NERVE of us People of Pallor! Even worse, English-speakers have an “outsized ability to read recipes and experiment”, so yeah, totally flaunting our privilege to try out new recipes.
Naporitan is a Japanese fusion dish made with boiled pasta noodles stir-fried with ketchup, meat, and vegetables. “Naporitan” is how the Japanese pronounced “Neapolitan” which is their all-purpose word for Japanese variations on Italian-y recipes containing tomato products. I guess they can get away with using ketchup, because they’re not People of Pallor. I am quite sure ketchup would be counted as a mortal sin in my Italian mother-in-law’s kitchen! I barely held on to my status as daughter-in-law when she found out I didn’t make tomato sauce from scratch using actual tomatoes from the gardens I don’t raise. Thirty-seven years later, I still just open a jar, so I’m probably never going to get to Heaven.
The reason I know fusion cuisine is no longer cool is that my cousin sent me a link to an article about comedian Rob Schneider tweeting a photo of his attempt at paella, which he — white male idiot that he is — was kind of proud of. The international Twitter-verse went ballistic, bombarding him with accusations of “cultural appropriation” and, worse, “DOING IT WRONG.”
Fortunately, Rob Schneider thought the whole Twitter-verse brouhaha was “HILARIOUS! The best Christmas present!” I dunno if I’d be so amused by multiple strangers screaming at me for being proud of the fact that I had cooked something nutritious and delicious for my family. Fortunately, I don’t have a Twitter account or I might be tempted to post my personal favorite dish, which is a variation on Hawaiian Loco Moco (loh-koo moh-koo).
Food dot com (see below) says “loco moco” means “hearty breakfast” and can be found at just about any fast food joint, roadside diner, mom and pop restaurant or lunch wagon in the Islands. There are many different versions of Loco Moco but they have 4 basic ingredients. I.e., rice, a beef patty, sunny-side up egg, and gravy.
Not only do I serve what I call loco moco for dinner, but also I disrespectfully scramble the eggs, leave the ground beef loose (instead of making it into a patty), and skip the gravy. Plus, get your pillory ready, I add veggies and I’m not even authentic about sticking to whatever grows in Hawaii. I just willy-nilly throw in whatever is in the hydrator and either needs to get used up before it spoils or, gosh golly, looks like it might taste good. HORRORS!!
Never mind that the Hawaiians have many different versions of loco moco. I’m not Hawaiian and I am WHITE, so clearly, in the minds of the culture police, I have NO RIGHT. I did once have a brother who lived on Maui for almost a year, but he was a haole too, so that probably just makes me even more guilty.