The Trouble With Western Food

“The trouble with Western Food,” said the restaurant manager in the sort of solemn voice usually reserved for UN declarations and statements of holy truth, “is the lack of variety. Take our China, for example! We have EIGHT different kinds of cuisine, but Western food is just Western food. Only one type. That’s not good.”

I generally enjoy a good Han-splaining. It helps keep me in my place, and supplements my need for incurious bloviating about the world on those days when my VPN doesn’t work and I can’t obsessively check Twitter. In this case, it got me thinking. Not about the manager’s analysis, which was of course completely batshit, but because this was the approximately 4,529th time I’d heard a variation on the same theme: In China, culture equals food. Western food sucks. Therefore Western culture must suck. Yay, China!