“Once, out of curiosity, I ordered chocolate Falooda. It’s tasted horrible,” said Mashiat Monjur, 2nd-year student of Khulna Medical College. The taste was so bad that she still regrets it whenever she remembers that incident.
Many restaurants in Bangladesh are now experimenting with their food and to attract customers, they serve unique food blended with traditional ones. In order to make their food unique, they are mixing different types of cuisine and ingredients together.
‘Bideshi’ food with Bengali twist
Restaurants are trying to serve fast food with a Bengali twist. They usually want to serve food that matches the Bengali taste. Some famous pizza places like Cheez, Digger, Dominos have introduced Kala Bhuna pizza.
However, not all like this. Maria Anis Chowdhury, a 4th-year student of Journalism from Dhaka University (DU) is one of them.
“I have tried the Beef Kala bhuna pizza from dominos. I didn’t like it much,” she said.
“I am actually not fond of the idea of forcefully combining two polar opposite kinds of food. I am fond of authenticity.”
However, there are people who find the idea interesting. Maliha Kabir, a DU student, told the writer that she is a spice lover whose favourite is Kala bhuna Pizza.
“I know some people may find it strange but I like Kala bhuna pizza. I love the combination which has Bengali kick into it,” said the 2nd-year Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering student.
Some burger shops serve burgers with green chilly sauce and ‘Dhakaiya’ paneer. A taco place called ‘Taltibaaz’ is serving tacos as unique as Alu bhaji taco, Kosha beef taco, Bhetki fry taco.
Arefin Tasfiq is a 2nd-year student of DU from the ACCE department. He once ordered their kosha beef taco. This is what he has to say about that experience.
“It was a soft-shelled taco made of tortilla. Though it tasted good, it is similar to ‘ruti-mangsho’ with salad, nothing special.”
“I may not order it again but want to explore their other taco options,” said Tasfiq.
The fusion of Bengali flavours with momo is trending. Gravy momo, achari momo served with coriander and tamarind chutney is worth mentioning.
Bengali food with ‘Bideshi’ twist
Cheese-filled samosa is available in ‘Jatra Biroti.’ ‘Budget Baksho’ is selling shingara with the filling of sausage, meatball, mushroom, cheese, etc.
‘Love Triangle’ provide interesting shingara such as the cheeseburger shingara, the pizza shingara and the shingara dog.
“I have tried pizza shingara. It was filled with pizza toppings and cheese,” said Rochita Haque, a 2nd-year student of DU Law.
“As they were generous with the filling, the shingara tasted like a crispy version of pizza.”
Weird food combinations
There are some really weird food combinations like seafood pizza, chicken tikka masala pizza, chicken malai kabab pizza, pasta and burger patty used as topping on pizza, Chezza and chicken tacos of KFC, Burgizza (burger and pizza combined together), etc.
Morium Kulsum, a 3rd year Marketing student at DU, said, “I love Fusion Eats' Seafood Delight Pizza and KFC's Chicken Taco. But once I tried ‘Firni Falooda Trifles.’ It tasted unpalatable and felt like a bad combo.”
Firni Falooda Trifles
Desert and sweet items are not lagging behind in this fusion race. Gelatofix, Crust and Bunz offer sweet pizza. Chocolate, marshmallow, nuts, jelly, candy, fruits, etc. are used as toppings.
Some local shops are serving chocolate fuchka, chocolate momo, chocolate Falooda, chocolate Firni, green chilly Roshogolla, etc.
“In a local streetside shop of Khulna, I eat chocolate momo whenever I go to that place,” said Sayma Sunzida Raya, 2nd-year student of Economics at Govt. Pioneer College, Khulna. “The momos are served warm along with chilled vanilla ice cream. It is a great combo to me.”
Bangladesh and Fusion food
The restaurant owners try to make hype over a fusion food that sustains for some time but eventually fades away.
Most food lovers try this kind of fusion food only once to satisfy their curiosity. Some people like it and some don't. Experimenting with food is beneficial when the food is enjoyable to most of the customers.
In this regard, as a non-fusion food lover, Maria suggested, “Things should be where they belong.”
“If people want to experiment with fusion food, at least it should be with things that go with each other, not forced,” she stretched.
Morium would love that too as she said, “I would love it if the restaurants offered palatable desserts combining contrasting culinary traditions.”
So experimenting with awkward combinations will do no good and won’t be a sustainable strategy. Such combinations or blends should be done with proper thoughts in them.