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Why British fusion is the next big food trend

4 min read

Why British fusion is the next big food trend
An exciting evolution of iconic dishes and worldly flavours means that British fusion is set to be the next food trend to explore
Looking across 2024, there are going to be a number of food trends that take the British cuisine scene by storm. They will inspire restaurant menus and product development in national stores. Experts are always looking for what might take off next and fusion foods are of particular interest in the last few years.
As our palettes evolve and we welcome more food styles from international influences, we experiment with the way we can reinvent those familiar dishes. Combining seemingly complementary and occasionally bizarrely contrasting flavours from different cultures has resulted in some truly delicious dishes. But the fusion food trend that is hitting the scene in 2024 is British in origin!

What is British fusion food?

In its simplest form, British fusion food is the combination of international favourites with well-known classics from our own recipe books. From scotch eggs to pies, roast dinners to fish and chips, we have so many recipes that Britain has truly claimed as its own and are beloved across the nation. It’s definitely not a new idea to reinvent these icons, bringing them into the modern age with twists we might not have previously considered. But the fusion element is a drastically alternative take which opens the door to a myriad of recipes. This cornucopia of cooking is excitingly limitless, and part of the challenge for the next few years will be to identify how various cuisines marry together within the context of these British staples.
"The reggae roast has been a talking point recently, with the Caribbean additions offering new and intriguing flavour combinations"
There are already some great examples hidden among our menus. Curry sauce with fish and chips seems like a foundational element of the dish these days, but its South Asian influences are obvious. The reggae roast has been a talking point recently, with the Caribbean additions offering new and intriguing flavour combinations. And of course, there are many restaurants out there that have already anglicised international foods to suit a British palette better.
We spoke with Chef Dean Harper of Harper Fine Dining who said “Another interesting fact about British fusion foods is that the most popular pairings are often successful stand-alone cuisines in their own right. British-Chinese, British-Indian and British-Italian are the three most popular British fusion foods, despite Chinese, Indian and Italian cuisines being the most popular international cuisines in Britain.” The trend has thus already set firm roots in our food scene, but it's about to be changing our food faster than any previous year.

How the trend is changing food

Home-cooked vegetarian sausage roll
There are going to be many signs of this new tasty adventure across our foodscape over the next few years. The groundwork for this will be built through pop-ups and street food, which are an integral way to test new ideas on a smaller scale. For those searching for the most innovative ways that British fusion is developing, it’s best to be vigilant at markets and in food festivals, for those thrilling creators who are embracing the fusion whole-heartedly. This is also a trend that will hit stores nationwide, with new products entering the scene that will be looking to capitalise on the move on a larger scale.
"Favourites like sausage rolls, crumbles and cooked breakfasts will be the targets of this campaign"
Well-known favourites like sausage rolls, crumbles and cooked breakfasts will be the targets of this campaign, with specific elements switched out to diversify the taste. Why not swap out a traditional sausage roll filling with a kofta kebab makeover? Why shouldn’t baked beans be spiced and elevated on a classic English breakfast? Whether it’s adding spices in unusual places, or involving umami flavours such as soy sauce, there are so many subtle ways to begin this transformative process.

The other way round

What’s fascinating is that British fusion can also work in the other direction. International dishes can be updated and shifted to involve new British elements. A roast dinner burrito could work for example, taking the natural next step from the Yorkshire pudding wraps we’ve come to love.

This is an exciting era of evolution

Vegan fish and chips with curry sauce from Catch
What’s all the fuss about though? Why are our lives about to change with the advent of British fusion recipes? Well the trend is a fantastic way to encourage and introduce a variety of different flavours into the British scene. By experimenting with familiar recipes, this is a comfortable and engaging way of trialling alternative cultures and cuisines. It’s especially prevalent for young people, to be gently taken on this culinary journey without the fear of the unknown.
Britain has certainly embraced international foods with open arms, but this is a new way to push even further, taking on often unseen ingredients and cooking techniques which could change our relationship with our food.
"Britain has embraced international foods with open arms, but this is a new way to push even further"
Chef Dean Harper said “Staple British foods like pies and roasts are beginning to be reimagined with worldly foods and flavours. These British dishes are versatile in their structure and format, making British food an easy option to combine with other cuisines. Furthermore, the increasing popularity of vegetarianism and plant-based foods means there is a lot of creative space for chefs to combine different cuisines.”
Indeed, this trend is also about finding different ways to elevate and expand all of those iconic dishes. They are classic for a reason and there will be those who suggest that messing with a traditional hit is completely unnecessary. But around the world, food is changing and as each new generation rises up, they bring new twists which celebrate a different aspect of their cuisines. That same revolution can happen with British fusion, as we reframe how we put those recipes together, with bolder moves to learn from other nations.

Celebrating the versatility of food

This is by no means a replacement of everything we loved before. Rather, it’s a way of celebrating those foods and their versatility, testing to see whether they can hold up under the scrutiny of alternate approaches. British fusion is sure to be a trend worth watching and it's an exciting time to be developing brave recipes.
Banner photo: Fish and chips is one dish getting the fusion treatment. Credit: Ruslan Khmelevsky

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