There is no “Authentic” anything any more. Which is amazing really. Traveling around the world has introduced humans to different types of ingredients that change our palate as well as our eating habits in profound ways.
In a (food porn) series I found on Netflix about indian food called Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan (Kings, Kitchens and their stories) explains the traditions and origins of the regional cuisines of India. This series is a big eye opener for me in the sense that I am a simple ignorant American exploring the world through food. The popular dishes us Americans know are such a tiny portion of this rich and beautiful cuisine, and through this series, I learned of how Indian food evolved to be what it is today.
Mexican food is another ancient cuisine that has lost much of it’s personality through the American eyes. Taco Bell is NOT Mexican food. Even if you make tacos at home, that is not Mexican food. That is Tex-Mex, which is a whole different blog altogether.
One of the greatest things about living in this Melting Pot is the food that has been made available to us. Of course, I do live in a city that prides itself on being a foodie city, so we have more options than smaller more rural areas. In the city limits of Portland, I have found regional specialty stores from several different countries: Russia, Ethiopia, Mexico, Asia, the UK, Indian (seperate from the Asian market), European (seperate from the UK market), and Halal markets too! Of course, I know there is even more options that I have yet to find.
Armed with this dietary arsenal, I can develop new combinations of flavors, aromas, textures and visionary delights for the ultimate mouth-gasms. Fusion food is not a trend, it is how we have always cooked. It is how culinary arts have been cultivated throughout human history.
I once heard a so called chef say on Gordon Ramsay’s cooking competition show Hell’s Kitchen “Who makes Mexican/Indian food?” The answer: I do! There are similar spice combinations, and main ingredients. To combine the two is rather simple, a real no brainer. He, of course, did not win that specific challenge due to his lack of vision.
Be bold with your foods, be creative, have fun, learn from your mistakes, and glorify your successes. Do not let tradition cloud your vision of your culinary goals.