By in Food

Chinese and Other Ethnic Food in the U.S.

So OK. I ask my friends, what kind of food do you like? They'll make remarks like:

I like Mexican.

I like Thai.

I like Chinese.

I like Indian.

Well and good. But what do you think? At my job, we would have visiting scientists spend some time working with us, often months to a year or two. We had a doctor of electrical engineering visit from "communist" China. A nice guy. In fact, I used to teach him the Bible. He enjoyed it considerably.

Came the day when the job took him out to lunch. What seemed like a bit of stereotyping, we all went to Dragon Lady for Chinese food. Now that food was quite good, for you see, I like Chinese. But I was itching to know what Dr. Liu thought of it?

Finally I was able to ask him. He replied, "Uh, very good... but not Chinese."

Later, Dr. Mung joined us at the job. He invited me and the wife and kids to his house. Yes, he was from "communist" China as well. He offered us a lovely meal of Chinese food. REAL Chinese food, which incorporated some new ingredients I'd never heard of, like "Wood Ear." DELICIOUS! Now this was Chinese!

It's good to realize that, by and large, the ethnic foods we are served in the U.S. aren't true ethnic foods at all, but American food passed off as ethnic food. I never pride myself on being a sophisticate because I eat "foreign" food. I wish they WOULD serve us the real thing.

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MegL wrote on May 18, 2017, 8:45 AM

I love ethnic food, especially Indian. We have an Asian supermarket here, where you can buy all the authentic items to cook your own Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, etc meals.

VinceSummers wrote on May 18, 2017, 8:51 AM

Excellent as long as you know authentic recipes and technique.

MegL wrote on May 18, 2017, 11:56 AM

We had an Indian man and his wife staying locally for a couple of years and learnt some things from them.

cmoneyspinner wrote on May 18, 2017, 6:58 PM

LOL. I think we are served "the real thing" because we are humans and we adapt to our environment. So we have our heritage and we save as much of it as we can when we come to "the new world". But the new world doesn't always have the same ingredients available that you find in another part of the world, or where you came from. So you use a close substitute. It doesn't make it any less authentic. If you were in China and you ran out of a particular ingredient and used an alternative foreign ingredient you found on the grocery store shelf, you wouldn't say the food was not real homemade food. My husband likes certain dishes from his country, The Bahamas. So I adapted the recipes with ingredients available in Texas. You could say it's not authentic Bahamian food, if you were from The Bahamas. But I'd say: "It's close enough!" Because it's not worth it to debate with you. I realize that you're not just talking food, you're talking country, heritage, and other things that are near and dear to your heart and soul, all represented in a particular dish. In some instances, my husband actually said he liked my revised recipe better. But he'd never tell his mother that. :D There is no real or fake way to prepare meals. :)

Last Edited: May 18, 2017, 6:59 PM

lookatdesktop wrote on May 19, 2017, 8:21 PM

I have eaten food prepared the way Italians do it as my wife can follow a recipe for a foreign country to a T.