Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bring on the deep-fried chicken lollipops.

My plan was to comment on the socio-linguistic aspects of hyphenated Chinese food, but my analytical capabilities wither in the face of "Seafood soups, fried rice with pork, scallions and tiny shrimp, and chicharrones de pollo -chicken cut into small pieces and deep-fried in the Cantonese style" and "Dishes like chili-spiked, deep-fried chicken lollipops ... and lo mein topped with chunks of peppery jerk chicken."

I was going to get all Homi K. Bhabha on their asses for saying "But Chinese food has never been quite what outsiders think it is," but then I was mesmerized by this:

Questions of ethnicity, some of them awkward and others simply mysterious, inevitably come up when tracking the cuisine of the Chinese diaspora. The passionate relationship between American Jews and Chinese restaurants, for example, is well documented.

"These people love Chinese food," said Dov Kemper, a customer at Eden Wok, a strictly kosher Chinese restaurant in Midtown, gesturing at his fellow Orthodox Jews eating barbecued (veal) spare ribs and (mock) shrimp fried rice. The wontons in the chicken soup - "just like kreplach," Mr. Kemper said - are stuffed with ground beef, scallions and ginger.

So, OK, forget it. Just whip me up some of them lollipops.

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