As consumers’ desire to branch out and try new flavors increases, so does their preference for ethnic foods and unique combinations of ingredients. According to Technomic, 43% of 18- to 34-year-olds are interested in dishes that fuse flavors from multiple cuisines. Chefs are experimenting to meet this demand, and the results go beyond Americanized versions of international fare. Asian-Latin fusion is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. as chefs seek to put unique twists on culinary staples.
Immigration patterns play a part as well—when people of Asian and Latin American descent have moved close to each other, they’ve mixed the tastes of each other’s cultures and brought them to North America. Diners are drawn to the ingredients and flavors from both areas as they become exposed to other countries’ culinary styles through media and globalization.
Asia and Latin America are each composed of many regions, which in turn creates countless possibilities for blended cuisines: Cuban-Vietnamese, Peruvian-Japanese and Chinese-Dominican blends represent just a few. This Korean BBQ Turkey Won Ton Taco is a Korean-Mexican mash-up featuring pulled turkey marinated in Asian-inspired flavors and served up inside a crispy won ton taco shell.
The chefs at Saucy Porka, a restaurant in Chicago, have created recipes with Puerto Rican, Southeast Asian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean influences. Their menu includes bacos—tacos made with bao buns—as well as banh mi sandwiches and rice bowls.
They also serve egg rolls and an egg banh mi that feature chorizo. Butterball’s Chorizo Ground Turkey and new Turkey Chorizo Crumbles are healthier alternatives to beef or pork and can add delicious protein to all kinds of Asian-Latin meals.
Filipino food merges Chinese, Malaysian, Spanish and American cooking, forming distinctive dishes made with proteins, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Try different types of turkey products to see how their mild, versatile flavor profile complements these other ingredients.
Flavor Consumer Trend Report, Technomic, 2017.
Versatile ingredients allow chefs to riff on classic dishes, SmartBrief, March 2018.
Bierly, Rachel. Asian Influence on Latin American Food, Panoramas, October 2017.
Special Report: Bowls & Asian Flavors Trending in the Foodsector, FoodIngredientsFirst, May 2017.
Levin, Amelia. Trend: The New Fusion—Latin and Asian Mashups, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, September 2017.
Furore, Kathleen. Fusion Fare: Mexican, Latin and Asian Flavors Meld to Create Enticing New Dishes, El Restaurante, January 2018.
Berry, Donna. Trend watch: Filipino flavors on the horizon, Food Business News, January 2018.