Asian Style Eats

White people love Chinese food. (Yes, all sorts of people like Chinese food, but that's not my point here.) My friends and I have endearingly adopted the term "white-people-Chinese-food" to encompass the various versions of Chinese food that Westerners tend to like.

Fortune cookies, for instance. Standard Chinese food aperatif, right? Only, they didn't start out anywhere in China -- they were invented right here in San Francisco. And there's honey garlic, which I'm pretty sure is not of pure Chinese descent.

it's chinese because there's cripsy strips in there. yeah, that's why.Then there are direct descendants of Chinese (or Asian) foods: egg noodles, sesame oil or sesame seeds, crispy wonton strips, and the sweet tang of hoisin sauce. And then "the white man" decides that suddenly, everything that has any of these ingredients becomes marketed / labelled as "Asian Style".

You know what I mean. A lettuce salad with grilled chicken and tomato and a bit of cheese: definitely Western. Ah, but sprinkle with crispy egg noodles, drizzle with hoisin sauce: an Asian delight, magically transformed! Yeah, like our Chinese legends have heros gathered around feasts of such salads.

Yet, I feel like the biggest culprit is sesame seeds. I mean, sure, we eat sesame seeds in our foods. Why not? They're yummy. But just because your dry ribs have some on them doesn't make them Chinese. No. They're just dry ribs with salt and pepper and sesame seeds on them.

No, not even if you dip them in hoisin sauce.

(At least McDonald's doesn't claim their Big Mac buns to be Asian style. Thank goodness for that.)


Anonymous said...

SCREW YOU, BEN! Asian, Mexican, American - who cares! It's food. Just get it in my pie-hole and enjoy! OK - actually - I do see your point. I especially enjoy your last comment! :) LOL! :) That got my snorting laugh going! Anyways, I've also heard about that in respect to Mexican food. If you go to authentic Mexican restaurants, the quesadilla is this tiny little thing with cheese in it. And tacos aren't crunchy either. Weird how us whiteys mess things up, hu? sheesh... =)

Nk said...

You forgot soy sauce. Soy sauce makes anything Chinese. :)

Anonymous said...

how does it affect your poo? stop trying to change the topic ~ jason

Ben said...

I've noticed that North Americans (well, okay, mostly Americans and less of it happening up North) typically bastardize cultural foods.

Exhibit A: pizza. In Italy, I understand that pizza is a simple thing, a delicate taste. And in the other corner, we have New York style pizza, which is a little modified from the Italian way, but still with a nice thin crust and all that. (NY's roughly where the Italians had settled in after coming across the ocean, so I wouldn't expect too much difference.) Then it moved to Chicago (deep dish) and became like the gumbo of pizzas -- make the pizza deeper and throw everything you can in there. I mean, it's practically a POT pizza, not a deep dish!

That said, I love pizza in (almost) all its forms. Deep dish is definitely yummy. Speaking of which, I haven't had Pizzeria Uno for a while ...

Anyone know any really yummy pizza joints around the Bay Area?

Anonymous said...

hi this website is a bit gay caz it doent even show the recipies thick oh :*