Too many years ago now, I spent a summer living in Taiwan. I lived with a Taiwanese family, took the bus to work every day, and even ate out and went shopping on my own despite not speaking more than a few words of Chinese. I tried all kinds of food, including 'thousand year eggs' - which I was amazed to find I quite liked.
The only thing I was offered and decided I was not even going to try was chicken feet.
A few years later, I went on a package tour to mainland China. I was amazed at how reluctant the Americans on the tour were to try the food. One of their major complaints was that the food wasn't like the Chinese food served at their local restaurant at home in the US. Ironically, one of my complaints about the food we had on the first 2 days of the trip was that it was NOT typically Chinese! Fortunately, there were two Chinese-American families on the tour - I sat with them at mealtimes so I didn't have to put up with constant whining about the food.
On our last day in China we had lunch at a Dim Sum restaurant in Guangzhou. The Chinese-Americans and I had a GREAT lunch - the Americans were all not eating in anticipation of getting to Hong Kong and being able to eat western food again. We did the rounds of all the tables helping ourselves to all the goodies they were ignoring!
The Americans were ecstatic when we finally arrived late at night in Hong Kong and they headed off to the Hard Rock Cafe. One commented that she was looking forward to a milkshake - her first milk product in over 3 weeks. I asked why she hadn't had any milk, yogurt or cheese in China? Although many Chinese are lactose intolerant, they provided those foods for the Americans in the hotels. She hadn't liked the milk because it was served warm. She hadn't seen the yogurt because it was not served in little plastic containers with foil tops. She hadn't wanted the cheese because it was served at breakfast time and "cheese is not breakfast food."
While the others in the group ate bagels, cereal (with cold milk) and yogurt (from plastic containers) for breakfast in the hotel in Hong Kong, I delighted in eating things like teryaki salmon, rice porridge, and steamed buns with barbecued pork filling. Why go abroad and eat the same things I would have at home?
March Hare Madness
5 hours ago