Smithsonian APAC. Taco Muse. 2013. Mixed digital media.

Smithsonian APAC. Taco Muse. 2013. Mixed digital media.

“Fusion food” can be a touchy subject.

For some, it involves the replacement of time-honored culinary traditions with marketing ideas that dull both taste and culture. Authentic herbs and spices are swapped for gravy sauce. Home-cooked staples are substituted with a Dorito shell. It’s enough to convince one that certain ingredients – and cultures – just don’t mix.

Yet, for many others, “fusion food” means something more. It means history, cultural innovation and American life. The cross-migration of communities often seen in isolation, like Asian Americans and Latinos, have found common ground through food trucks and hole-in-the-wall diners. In New York City – the ethnic hodgepodge metropolis – restaurants serving Chinese-Cuban and Chinese-Peruvian food embody deep-rooted experiences and thus, a kind of fusion that suggests more than being a passing fad. In Los Angeles, Korean tacos were almost an inevitable invention after Korean and Mexican traditions spent decades marinating together.

Steve Snodgrass. Bulgogi Taco. Digital photograph. 2009. Creative Commons.

Steve Snodgrass. Bulgogi Taco. Digital photograph. 2009. Creative Commons.

As a part of Intersections as American Life – a collaborative project between the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Latino CenterGourmet Intersections is a digital exhibition that captures snapshots of Asian-Latino food crossings. Throughout the summer of 2013, this exhibition will unveil snapshots of cities throughout the United States where Asian and Latino cultures have found small commonalities that bred big (and tasty) creations. We also invite you to share your experiences, recipes and ideas of how #AsianLatino hits home for you. Through this, we can demonstrate how these delicious marriages are at the heart of true American traditions.

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