Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 155 – Jews and Chinese Food. A Love Story

January 10th, 2010

I did crack last night. Crack pie. I went to a friend’s Asian themed potluck dinner party and one of the guests brought this dessert from the Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar that contains no freebase form of cocaine —just butter, heavy cream, brown sugar, sugar and a little corn flour. Bonus(or not) that it’s been endorsed by Anderson Cooper.

Most of the guests at this gathering were Jewish. Like me. My particular ethnoreligious group originating as the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East has a long history observing the laws and commandments of the Torah, believing that there is a single, omniscient and transcendent God and having a fetish for Asian cuisine. Particularly Chinese food.

Growing up in Greensboro North Carolina, you could find the majority of the Jewish Community at Lin’s Garden’s on a Sunday night. Despite its “C” rating, this was the Chinese restaurant chosen by the chosen people. Without fail, my family would always see one peripheral family friend, a doctor, who was obese one week and then emaciated the next. His weight would be one of these extremes in alarmingly short intervals. It was as if had gone with the gastric bypass surgery. Then reversed it. Every week. Another memory of this mediocre excuse for Asian cuisine was taking an Israeli teenager that we hosted for a week. I don’t recall his thoughts on the experience but I remember him telling us (as we sipped lukewarm tea) that he learned English by watching “MacGyver”.

My next Jew heart Asian example isn’t a personal memory but one worth sharing and cementing in the blogosphere. One of my best college friends went to a very liberal high school in Atlanta, Georgia. They would protest the Gulf War. The first one. She told me of a club with Jewish members called “The Asian Sensation”….their motto was: “You don’t have to be Asian to join. You just have to feel Asian.” A typical meeting would involve watching “The Godfather” while eating moo goo gai pan.

All I’m sayin’ is that we Jews have had a deep appreciation for far eastern edibles for some time. Yet I sense that the Chinese population does not reciprocate the palpable desire for Jew food.

I expect to hear this:

Shlomo – Honey, I’m home. I’m wiped out from having such a long day of being Jewish. And doing Jewish things.

Rivka - Me too sweetie. Let’s just take it easy tonight and order in some egg rolls, chow mein and General Tso's Chicken.

And I assume this has never been uttered:

Chen – Honey, I’m home. I’m wiped out from having such a long day of being Chinese. And doing Chinese things.

Zhang - Me too sweetie. Let’s just take it easy tonight and order in some herring, brisket and knishes.

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