Cuisine created by combining ingredients and techniques from various cultures, the results of which are dishes that don't precisely fit into any of the originating cuisines. Most common today is a combination of Asian ingredients and techniques and Western ingredients and techniques. These might include ingredients commonly found in Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese cuisines combined with French or Italian cooking techniques. The term fusion food originated in the United States in the 1970s, but the practice of combining the cuisines of multiple cultures has existed for centuries. With today's air travel shrinking the world, not only can people experience a wider variety of cuisines (making "different" foods more acceptable), but fresh ingredients quickly can be shipped globally so these combinations are easy to achieve. Pacific Rim Cuisine is an example of fusion food and rather loosely defines dishes fused from the cuisines of countries in and around the Pacific Ocean.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.