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The relation between expertise and pleasure

2456

Posts

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    valiance wrote: »
    how much expertise is false anyway? I have a feeling the increased enjoyment is often due to the perception of being an expert and following certain norms. see wine tasters not really being able to taste more than 4 different flavors: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574533840282653628.html

    on the other hand, any "acquired taste" is usually a fake-it-til-you-make-it situation. people drink coffee or liquor because they feel like it should be good, even though the overwhelming majority find it unpleasant the first few times they taste it. eventually, however, telling yourself that you should like it, or pretending to like it, is smoothed into actually liking it

    Evil Multifarious on
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • JurgJurg In a TeacupRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Jurg wrote: »
    EDIT- I've never had wine, but I've tasted "round" tastes in things like fruit flavored drinks. It's just a metaphor for the order in which the various tastes come. Like how 7-up tastes fizzy and has an unusual aftertaste, while 7-upside down (one of the coolest sodas ever) reverses that order.

    No, they sometimes use actual geometric shapes to describe a taste sensation. I don't get that. I understand a "rounded" or "sharp" or "jagged" taste, as they can mean things like the evenness of the taste sensation and such, but when things start tasting triangular and square and circle etc., well, you've lost me. I don't know enough about wine tasting to comment on how common this is, but I hope it's some kind of a border case. I keep running into those occasionally.

    Jackfruit Vitamin Water tastes like a circle. The initial taste is fruity, and that initial taste is the edge of the circle. While sipping, it tastes clean, like water- that is the middle of a hollow circle. The aftertaste is the same as the initial taste, just like the edge of the circle is the same all around.

    These people are probably crazy anyway, but it makes sense, in a metaphorical way.

    this relates to the question of utility in general

    is gaining pleasure sufficient? is there a difference between the pleasure I get now from reading excellent, critically lauded literature, and the pleasure I received from reading shlocky Conan books when I was 12 years old? is the current pleasure superior? or is it equivalent, and thus becoming more "refined" means I have fewer avenues to pleasure and am thus, in fact, inferior?

    or is there something besides pleasure, some other positive experience, which I gain from reading a "literary" book - one that is difficult, one that challenges me, one that I have to work to appreciate - and is that positive experience "better," or simply different?

    I find pleasure to be an escape from the anxiety of daily life. The "literary" experiences embed themselves in my mind, staying with me, helping me untangle anxiety easier, even while I am not directly experiencing them. This is why the goal of literature is to illuminate the human condition, or whatever.

    Both pleasures are valid, but one is more lasting.

    Jurg on
    sig.gif
  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    I hope that the stoics don't consider that the way to go, as it seems incredibly stupid to me. Why should I be satisfied with shit when I can get much better with minimal effort and cost to myself?

    You can be a princess, but they seldom get much rest on account of the wide distribution of peas beneath matresses in this world.

    Speaker on
    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    valiance wrote: »
    how much expertise is false anyway? I have a feeling the increased enjoyment is often due to the perception of being an expert and following certain norms. see wine tasters not really being able to taste more than 4 different flavors: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574533840282653628.html

    on the other hand, any "acquired taste" is usually a fake-it-til-you-make-it situation. people drink coffee or liquor because they feel like it should be good, even though the overwhelming majority find it unpleasant the first few times they taste it. eventually, however, telling yourself that you should like it, or pretending to like it, is smoothed into actually liking it

    Yeah, you're wrong. Black coffee is delicious. I didn't like it at first because I wasn't used to it, not because I hadn't tricked myself into liking it yet.

    And there are lots of foods from various cultures that most people in those cultures grow up liking while people from others have to acquire a taste for.

    Quid on
  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I used to hate ginger beer. Now I love ginger beer even though I know it is disgusting.

    I have no explanation for this.

    Speaker on
    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • JurgJurg In a TeacupRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Speaker wrote: »
    I used to hate ginger beer. Now I love ginger beer even though I know it is disgusting.

    I have no explanation for this.

    Sometimes, drinking something that tastes really bad can be kinda fun, too.

    Jurg on
    sig.gif
  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Don't despair. Not even over the fact that you don't despair.Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    people also love being elitist. It's a great feeling to be able to look down on others for their personal choices. its give people of feeling of superiority. I mean, just look at the alcohol and fashion threads.

    Casual Eddy on
    Elki wrote: »

    Casual Eddy: best poster 2014.
    tyrannus wrote: »
    Casual Eddy: best poster of 2015

    gotta update that stuff man
  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Speaker wrote: »
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    I hope that the stoics don't consider that the way to go, as it seems incredibly stupid to me. Why should I be satisfied with shit when I can get much better with minimal effort and cost to myself?

    You can be a princess, but they seldom get much rest on account of the wide distribution of peas beneath matresses in this world.

    So you gotta be satisfied with what you have, no matter how bad and regardless of how easy it would be to remedy the situation? Must be great wallowing in filth.

    I mean, I get the idea that throwing tantrums about ridiculous things is pointless, but why tolerate something bad when remedying the situation would be trivial? What's the rationale there?

    Rhan9 on
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I don't really do this. For me what gives me pleasure is something that sparks my imagination or interest and what does these isn't always connected to the characteristics or quality of the things I'm doing/consuming/etc.

    I can be equally happy eating a ham and cheese and mayo sandwich as the best cooked meal in the world. Probably more so since I made it myself and I'm normally pretty hungry when I eat my sandwich.
    Same with leisure or whatever.

    I also notice that I can play any game of the type I like put in front of me as long as the aesthetic of the game catches my interest: if it doesn't catch, I'm not interested at all. For example, I don't play any ww2 or modern warfare style first person shooters because I'm not the least bit interested in that setting. But throw some sci fi in there and I'm all over it and it doesn't overly matter about the quality: what matters is did something catch my attention. It can be as simple as a single element of the game that I really liked the feel of: I will want to repeat that element.

    So I don't really think I fit in with this style of thing with one exception: arguments. I hate stupid arguments about stupid shit that are said with stupid circular reasoning or no reasoning at all.
    I hate that shit. I used to not care.

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    IMHO 2 cents is that a large part of our "enjoyment" of anything is psychological. And the more you can build on that, the more you'll enjoy. Whether it's expertise or just being able to see the label, whatever, the point is that you've psyched yourself into believing that this is going to be some good shit, and so it is.

    That doesn't mean there isn't some validity to having an acquired taste. It just means that our psyche is a multiplier on such a thing.

    Yar on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    I've had exactly the same experience. And, in relation to the blog post itself, having been to China I'm actually dreading the yearly Christmas Day excursion to a "Chinese" restaurant. I haven't been able to tolerate the stuff since I got a taste of the real deal.

    I think the blog post does a great job of explaining this one. You have tasted the food made with fresh vegetables. Something that a lot of the restaurants do not necessarily have access to. It isn't necessarily that you don't like the food as a rule anymore, but having felt a nice cool breeze, you do not care as much for standing right in front of a fan. That is, a lot of the otherwise subtle cues that you wouldn't have known to look for are missing, and you feel beat with the rest of the work.

    That's part of it, I'm sure, but I think the biggest change is that Chinese food just seems so alien to me in America. It's literally (in the literal sense of the word) nothing like the Chinese food I had in China except in name. And even that is Americanized beyond recognition much of the time.

    But in relation to my actual experience, I realized that I could deal with the "Chinese" meal via thinking of it as being in a wholly different category. I ordered a ton of Egg Foo Young, which as far as I know does not exist in China and basically enjoyed a non-Chinese meal.

    Loren Michael on
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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    That's part of it, I'm sure, but I think the biggest change is that Chinese food just seems so alien to me in America. It's literally (in the literal sense of the word) nothing like the Chinese food I had in China except in name. And even that is Americanized beyond recognition much of the time.

    yeah I found it insulting and depressing. It was one of the biggest things that made me realize that America is more homogeneous than melting pot today.

    edit- and i too have learned to enjoy orange chicken and egg foo young when the only other choice is pizza.

    Sam on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    China is awful large folks, are you sure that whatever region you were in was simply not the region of cooking that many "american" chinese dishes have been derived from?

    Because aside from less variety as well as ingredient concerns there is "authentic" Chinese cuisine to be had just about every city in the States.

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • FireflowerFireflower Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Goumindong wrote: »
    China is awful large folks, are you sure that whatever region you were in was simply not the region of cooking that many "american" chinese dishes have been derived from?
    Every person from China feels the way they feel. Every non-Chinese person who has been to China and to America feels this way too. Cooks who make the food know different ingredients are used. Chinese-American food is not Chinese food. General Tsao is the Colonel Sanders of the Far East.

    Fireflower on
    mario-fireball2-pv.jpg
  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Yar wrote: »
    IMHO 2 cents is that a large part of our "enjoyment" of anything is psychological. And the more you can build on that, the more you'll enjoy. Whether it's expertise or just being able to see the label, whatever, the point is that you've psyched yourself into believing that this is going to be some good shit, and so it is.

    That doesn't mean there isn't some validity to having an acquired taste. It just means that our psyche is a multiplier on such a thing.

    I almost invariably judge food of a certain tier that tastes like Mom used to make to be superior than food of that same tier that Mom never made.

    BubbaT on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    valiance wrote: »
    how much expertise is false anyway? I have a feeling the increased enjoyment is often due to the perception of being an expert and following certain norms. see wine tasters not really being able to taste more than 4 different flavors: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574533840282653628.html

    on the other hand, any "acquired taste" is usually a fake-it-til-you-make-it situation. people drink coffee or liquor because they feel like it should be good, even though the overwhelming majority find it unpleasant the first few times they taste it. eventually, however, telling yourself that you should like it, or pretending to like it, is smoothed into actually liking it

    Yeah, you're wrong. Black coffee is delicious. I didn't like it at first because I wasn't used to it, not because I hadn't tricked myself into liking it yet.

    And there are lots of foods from various cultures that most people in those cultures grow up liking while people from others have to acquire a taste for.

    my point is that there's no difference between "it's delicious" and "I tricked myself into thinking it was delicious"

    you had to force yourself to like it, by exposing yourself to it. continued exposure will either make you hate it more, or (more likely, if you're trying to like it) will make you enjoy it.

    the fact that people like coffee once they're "used to it" doesn't make it "true" that it's delicious. nor does the fact that people almost always don't like coffee initially make it true that coffee is not delicoius.

    Evil Multifarious on
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    valiance wrote: »
    how much expertise is false anyway? I have a feeling the increased enjoyment is often due to the perception of being an expert and following certain norms. see wine tasters not really being able to taste more than 4 different flavors: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574533840282653628.html

    on the other hand, any "acquired taste" is usually a fake-it-til-you-make-it situation. people drink coffee or liquor because they feel like it should be good, even though the overwhelming majority find it unpleasant the first few times they taste it. eventually, however, telling yourself that you should like it, or pretending to like it, is smoothed into actually liking it

    Yeah, you're wrong. Black coffee is delicious. I didn't like it at first because I wasn't used to it, not because I hadn't tricked myself into liking it yet.

    And there are lots of foods from various cultures that most people in those cultures grow up liking while people from others have to acquire a taste for.

    my point is that there's no difference between "it's delicious" and "I tricked myself into thinking it was delicious"

    you had to force yourself to like it, by exposing yourself to it. continued exposure will either make you hate it more, or (more likely, if you're trying to like it) will make you enjoy it.

    the fact that people like coffee once they're "used to it" doesn't make it "true" that it's delicious. nor does the fact that people almost always don't like coffee initially make it true that coffee is not delicoius.

    You mean like Americans who force themselves to like sushi?

    Or Japanese that force themselves to like pumpernickel?

    Quid on
  • valiancevaliance Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    valiance wrote: »
    how much expertise is false anyway? I have a feeling the increased enjoyment is often due to the perception of being an expert and following certain norms. see wine tasters not really being able to taste more than 4 different flavors: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574533840282653628.html

    on the other hand, any "acquired taste" is usually a fake-it-til-you-make-it situation. people drink coffee or liquor because they feel like it should be good, even though the overwhelming majority find it unpleasant the first few times they taste it. eventually, however, telling yourself that you should like it, or pretending to like it, is smoothed into actually liking it

    Yeah, you're wrong. Black coffee is delicious. I didn't like it at first because I wasn't used to it, not because I hadn't tricked myself into liking it yet.

    And there are lots of foods from various cultures that most people in those cultures grow up liking while people from others have to acquire a taste for.

    my point is that there's no difference between "it's delicious" and "I tricked myself into thinking it was delicious"

    you had to force yourself to like it, by exposing yourself to it. continued exposure will either make you hate it more, or (more likely, if you're trying to like it) will make you enjoy it.

    the fact that people like coffee once they're "used to it" doesn't make it "true" that it's delicious. nor does the fact that people almost always don't like coffee initially make it true that coffee is not delicoius.

    You mean like Americans who force themselves to like sushi?

    Or Japanese that force themselves to like pumpernickel?
    215548036_adCoX-L-2.jpg

    valiance on
  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    valiance wrote: »
    how much expertise is false anyway? I have a feeling the increased enjoyment is often due to the perception of being an expert and following certain norms. see wine tasters not really being able to taste more than 4 different flavors: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574533840282653628.html

    on the other hand, any "acquired taste" is usually a fake-it-til-you-make-it situation. people drink coffee or liquor because they feel like it should be good, even though the overwhelming majority find it unpleasant the first few times they taste it. eventually, however, telling yourself that you should like it, or pretending to like it, is smoothed into actually liking it

    Yeah, you're wrong. Black coffee is delicious. I didn't like it at first because I wasn't used to it, not because I hadn't tricked myself into liking it yet.

    And there are lots of foods from various cultures that most people in those cultures grow up liking while people from others have to acquire a taste for.

    my point is that there's no difference between "it's delicious" and "I tricked myself into thinking it was delicious"

    you had to force yourself to like it, by exposing yourself to it. continued exposure will either make you hate it more, or (more likely, if you're trying to like it) will make you enjoy it.

    the fact that people like coffee once they're "used to it" doesn't make it "true" that it's delicious. nor does the fact that people almost always don't like coffee initially make it true that coffee is not delicoius.

    I dunno, I like coffee though I've never been a coffee drinker (I don't need extra pep in the morning).

    I remember trying it when I was 6 or 7 and retching in disgust. I probably didn't try it again until I was 20 or so at which point I thought "hey this is alright."

    As you grow older, your tastebuds tend to become more accepting of different tastes. Trying new things also helps expand the range your tastebuds accept, even if you're not focusing on one thing "to get used to it." "Fake-it-til-you-make-it" oversimplifies the process by which one's palate expands.

    oldsak on
  • CoinageCoinage dance all crazy, whip my hair around all crazy Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I do think I would be a happier person if everything that is played in public didn't annoy me to some degree, with some of it driving me outright crazy. But I can't turn back my devotion to music so I guess I have to live with it, and the love of avant-garde music mostly makes up for it.
    My friends tell me that my music taste is total shit and theirs rocks because theirs is consisting of bands with top singles
    That's because they are terrible.
    people also love being elitist. It's a great feeling to be able to look down on others for their personal choices. its give people of feeling of superiority. I mean, just look at the alcohol and fashion threads.
    This is also true.

    Coinage on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    oldsak wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    valiance wrote: »
    how much expertise is false anyway? I have a feeling the increased enjoyment is often due to the perception of being an expert and following certain norms. see wine tasters not really being able to taste more than 4 different flavors: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574533840282653628.html

    on the other hand, any "acquired taste" is usually a fake-it-til-you-make-it situation. people drink coffee or liquor because they feel like it should be good, even though the overwhelming majority find it unpleasant the first few times they taste it. eventually, however, telling yourself that you should like it, or pretending to like it, is smoothed into actually liking it

    Yeah, you're wrong. Black coffee is delicious. I didn't like it at first because I wasn't used to it, not because I hadn't tricked myself into liking it yet.

    And there are lots of foods from various cultures that most people in those cultures grow up liking while people from others have to acquire a taste for.

    my point is that there's no difference between "it's delicious" and "I tricked myself into thinking it was delicious"

    you had to force yourself to like it, by exposing yourself to it. continued exposure will either make you hate it more, or (more likely, if you're trying to like it) will make you enjoy it.

    the fact that people like coffee once they're "used to it" doesn't make it "true" that it's delicious. nor does the fact that people almost always don't like coffee initially make it true that coffee is not delicoius.

    I dunno, I like coffee though I've never been a coffee drinker (I don't need extra pep in the morning).

    I remember trying it when I was 6 or 7 and retching in disgust. I probably didn't try it again until I was 20 or so at which point I thought "hey this is alright."

    As you grow older, your tastebuds tend to become more accepting of different tastes. Trying new things also helps expand the range your tastebuds accept, even if you're not focusing on one thing "to get used to it." "Fake-it-til-you-make-it" oversimplifies the process by which one's palate expands.

    not everyone needs to acquire so-called acquired tastes

    a friend of mine claims he has always loved bitter foods and drinks, and he was a coffee drinker from the first time he tried it

    of course, if he were to pass those genes on after the world ends and we must scrounge the wilderness for edible things, all his progeny would eat poison and die.

    regardless, most people do not like coffee, or liquor, or James Joyce, or dissonant contemporary orchestral music, without deliberately trying to like it, or perhaps more accurately, learning to like it. the initial impression is rarely one of enjoyment, unlike soft drinks, or fruit juice, or Stephen King, or the Beatles, though tastes will of course vary.

    this invalidates neither form of taste development.

    Evil Multifarious on
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Fireflower wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    China is awful large folks, are you sure that whatever region you were in was simply not the region of cooking that many "american" chinese dishes have been derived from?
    Every person from China feels the way they feel. Every non-Chinese person who has been to China and to America feels this way too. Cooks who make the food know different ingredients are used. Chinese-American food is not Chinese food. General Tsao is the Colonel Sanders of the Far East.

    I have been to China and America and those sentiments are bullshit. They're bullshit in the same way that "American Pizza isn't real pizza" is bullshit and the same that that "your x isn't real x" is bullshit. No, the people in San Fransisco do not make Kung Pao Chicken in the same way that your mom made it in Szechuan[which of course will be much much different from any of the food you have in the Cantons]. Too fucking bad, its the same god damned dish. Of course you can't get Chinese food in the States like you can in China, in China you're nearly royalty as your visiting, everything is authentic by necessity, and you seek out the places that don't cater to large numbers of people.

    About the only thing to complain about is General Tso(and Crab Rangoon), because the rest of the stuff is about as authentic as you can get unless you expect to get leftovers when you got to a pizza place[which of course no Pizza place in Italy will do either], or you expect that every restaurant be a 4 star meal made just for you and totally ignoring the fact that there are 100 other people in the place waiting to be served.

    Its the same god damned thing with you people complaining that Italian restaurants don't serve Risotto[seriously, what fucking Italian restaurant doesn't have Risotto? A: Probably one that serves dishes largely from Southern Italy(like, incidentally, Spaghetti is) which is much different culturally than the North, making a restaurant that decided to focus on a specific type of cuisine totally within reasonable bounds to not have Risotto. But you might know this if you had ever been to fucking Italy or done a modicum of god damned research]

    This doesn't even get into the issue of what "authentic" is what with what people eat simply freaking changing all the god damn time because that is what people do all over the damned place. I mean shit, at what point in time and place(and caste) are we talking authentic? Pretty soon you're going to be bitching that Chinese restaurants serve anything but a bowl of rice on the menu.

    Bitch all you want that its not fresh, or you don't like the way it tastes, or that it was prepared poorly, or that you don't want to eat mandarin and Szechuan food, but don't bitch that it isn't authentic, because that claim is largely bullshit.

    Edit: you may not go back to your philosophical discussion on whether utility has a static or relative measure and whether or not individual utility changes are static or relative based on expectations. Just know that experimentation has largely sided with relative measures for both[though individual measures of utility for specific actions tend to have both a number of relative components and static components](all of this by experimentation).

    Also know that the question of whether or not you are better of being ignorant and such having low expectations which expands your conceived utility or educated and such better able to determine what is good[but then being less likely to be "pleasantly surprised" and more likely to be disappointed thus reducing your utility] is a trade off that may or may not be answerable, and in fact, is likely answerable to different measures for each individual in each separate area of expertise. If that area has any correlation towards the activities that you pursue is another issue altogether, though it likely does not except as it references to the time it takes to achieve expertise as a cost in the function.

    Me i tend to side with the Stoics. Stuff is good, enjoy what you have and you will be happier. This does not mean to not seek out good things, i just means that whatever you do have is still good.

    Goumindong on
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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Goumindong wrote: »
    China is awful large folks, are you sure that whatever region you were in was simply not the region of cooking that many "american" chinese dishes have been derived from?

    Because aside from less variety as well as ingredient concerns there is "authentic" Chinese cuisine to be had just about every city in the States.

    Nah, they're just straight up different. While yes, it's true that different regions in China are known for wildly different dishes and cooking traditions, it's not difficult to find restaurants in a given city specialized in various regional foods from other regions. Sichuan food (Szechwan food), for example, is famous throughout China, and is known for its ridiculous spiciness. In america I think there's normally a "Szechwan Chicken" or something that bears little if any resemblance to actual Sichuan cooking. It's honestly Americanized beyond recognition.

    When I order "Ma Po Tofu" in America it is nothing like actual Ma Po Doufu. When I set my expectations for actual Ma Po Doufu I am invariably disappointed, as I've had it enough times and in enough places in China to have a pretty good idea what it actually is as a Chinese dish. Hence my strategy of framing the food as a different category altogether.

    Loren Michael on
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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    In america I think there's normally a "Szechwan Chicken" or something that bears little if any resemblance to actual Sichuan cooking. It's honestly Americanized beyond recognition.

    When I order "Ma Po Tofu" in America it is nothing like actual Ma Po Doufu. When I set my expectations for actual Ma Po Doufu I am invariably disappointed, as I've had it enough times and in enough places in China to have a pretty good idea what it actually is as a Chinese dish. Hence my strategy of framing the food as a different category altogether.

    No, this is largely bullshit and you are objectively wrong. That you do not like the Kung Pao Chicken[Gung Bao] or as you say Sichuan chicken that you get in some places in America does not make it not Kung Pao chicken, it means that they didn't add enough peppers to your taste. That you don't like some versions of what is essentially a spicy tofu soup doesn't make it not a spicy tofu soup. Low quality food is not "wrong food". Its just low quality.

    Shit, my mom has 3-4 ways of making the rolls she makes for Christmas and Thanksgiving. That is one thing in one part of one family. That doesn't make them suddenly not rolls when they've got three loaves instead of 2, it means they were made a bit different. If you add a chili rub to your fried chicken that does not make your dish "not authentic" because it does not feature breading. Fish and chips that are not beer battered are still fish and chips. Kung pao chickin that you do not like is still Kung Pao chicken.

    Goumindong on
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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Goumindong wrote: »
    In america I think there's normally a "Szechwan Chicken" or something that bears little if any resemblance to actual Sichuan cooking. It's honestly Americanized beyond recognition.

    When I order "Ma Po Tofu" in America it is nothing like actual Ma Po Doufu. When I set my expectations for actual Ma Po Doufu I am invariably disappointed, as I've had it enough times and in enough places in China to have a pretty good idea what it actually is as a Chinese dish. Hence my strategy of framing the food as a different category altogether.

    No, this is largely bullshit and you are objectively wrong. That you do not like the Kung Pao Chicken[Gung Bao] or as you say Sichuan chicken that you get in some places in America does not make it not Kung Pao chicken, it means that they didn't add enough peppers to your taste. That you don't like some versions of what is essentially a spicy tofu soup doesn't make it not a spicy tofu soup. Low quality food is not "wrong food". Its just low quality.

    Shit, my mom has 3-4 ways of making the rolls she makes for Christmas and Thanksgiving. That is one thing in one part of one family. That doesn't make them suddenly not rolls when they've got three loaves instead of 2, it means they were made a bit different. If you add a chili rub to your fried chicken that does not make your dish "not authentic" because it does not feature breading. Fish and chips that are not beer battered are still fish and chips. Kung pao chickin that you do not like is still Kung Pao chicken.

    Going with my example of Ma Po Doufu, in America it's rare to find a Chinese dish that combines both meat and tofu. It's also rare to find a significant amount of spiciness in most foods, be they Chinese or otherwise, unless specifically asked for. Ma Po Tofu in America is typically a vegetarian dish with only mild spiciness (if even that). In China, it's very spicy and regularly topped with minced meat.

    Going with your example of Kung Pao Chicken, the American version is distinct from the Chinese version insofar as it doesn't typically use Sichuan peppers. The Chinese version does, and outside of the chicken they are probably the most integral ingredient of the dish.

    Certainly, "Kung Pao Chicken" in America is still Kung Pao Chicken. It's just not Chinese food. Quality is a separate issue. I actually enjoy that dish in America, and it's an interesting example as it's actually one of the closer of American Chinese dishes to the actual Chinese version, save for that one ingredient and the associated typical level of spiciness and flavor. Spring rolls and sesame chicken are the two that I can think of that are actually closest to their Chinese counterparts.

    When one considers these kinds of food as being iterations of the actual Chinese dish, they simply fail. Ma Po Tofu becomes a bland tofu soup rather than a spicy, meaty entree. Kung Pao Chicken loses that characteristic spice. It fails the various tests that we put food through when we rate it. The differences are vast enough that it's not at all unreasonable, for the most part, to simple consider them as a different category.

    Loren Michael on
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  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Goumindong wrote: »
    In america I think there's normally a "Szechwan Chicken" or something that bears little if any resemblance to actual Sichuan cooking. It's honestly Americanized beyond recognition.

    When I order "Ma Po Tofu" in America it is nothing like actual Ma Po Doufu. When I set my expectations for actual Ma Po Doufu I am invariably disappointed, as I've had it enough times and in enough places in China to have a pretty good idea what it actually is as a Chinese dish. Hence my strategy of framing the food as a different category altogether.

    No, this is largely bullshit and you are objectively wrong. That you do not like the Kung Pao Chicken[Gung Bao] or as you say Sichuan chicken that you get in some places in America does not make it not Kung Pao chicken, it means that they didn't add enough peppers to your taste. That you don't like some versions of what is essentially a spicy tofu soup doesn't make it not a spicy tofu soup. Low quality food is not "wrong food". Its just low quality.

    Shit, my mom has 3-4 ways of making the rolls she makes for Christmas and Thanksgiving. That is one thing in one part of one family. That doesn't make them suddenly not rolls when they've got three loaves instead of 2, it means they were made a bit different. If you add a chili rub to your fried chicken that does not make your dish "not authentic" because it does not feature breading. Fish and chips that are not beer battered are still fish and chips. Kung pao chickin that you do not like is still Kung Pao chicken.

    Going with my example of Ma Po Doufu, in America it's rare to find a Chinese dish that combines both meat and tofu. It's also rare to find a significant amount of spiciness in most foods, be they Chinese or otherwise, unless specifically asked for. Ma Po Tofu in America is typically a vegetarian dish with only mild spiciness (if even that). In China, it's very spicy and regularly topped with minced meat.

    Going with your example of Kung Pao Chicken, the American version is distinct from the Chinese version insofar as it doesn't typically use Sichuan peppers. The Chinese version does, and outside of the chicken they are probably the most integral ingredient of the dish.

    Certainly, "Kung Pao Chicken" in America is still Kung Pao Chicken. It's just not Chinese food. Quality is a separate issue. I actually enjoy that dish in America, and it's an interesting example as it's actually one of the closer of American Chinese dishes to the actual Chinese version, save for that one ingredient and the associated typical level of spiciness and flavor. Spring rolls and sesame chicken are the two that I can think of that are actually closest to their Chinese counterparts.

    When one considers these kinds of food as being iterations of the actual Chinese dish, they simply fail. Ma Po Tofu becomes a bland tofu soup rather than a spicy, meaty entree. Kung Pao Chicken loses that characteristic spice. It fails the various tests that we put food through when we rate it. The differences are vast enough that it's not at all unreasonable, for the most part, to simple consider them as a different category.

    You're making me unbelievably hungry. If you think the Chinese food in America sucks, you should try it in Israel. Fucking awful.

    I do have to say that Korean food is generally still authentic in the US. Some Koreans say it is actually better in Koreatown in NYC than in many parts of Korea.

    Also, deep dish pizza only has a passing resemblance to, say, pizza from Naples. They're in the same category of food but, imho, not really the same dish because their flavor profiles vastly differ.

    sanstodo on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    what's up with america and bland ass food anyway?

    Sam on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Going with your example of Kung Pao Chicken, the American version is distinct from the Chinese version insofar as it doesn't typically use Sichuan peppers

    Which were, until 2005, illegal to import into the U.S.

    Look, i am tired if your "one true scotsman" bullshit. We get it, its not Chinese food because its not up to your quality standards. Unless you define Chinese food as "food physically made, prepared, and served in China" then you're just being retarded in what you require for the food to be called Chinese. And if you are doing that you're retarded anyway, because no one uses that definition.
    The differences are vast enough that it's not at all unreasonable, for the most part, to simple consider them as a different category.

    Bull-fucking-shit. Pizza does not suddenly become not Pizza because it doesn't have pepperoni on it. Nor does it not become Italian food.
    sanstodo wrote: »

    I do have to say that Korean food is generally still authentic in the US. Some Koreans say it is actually better in Koreatown in NYC than in many parts of Korea.

    Chinese say the same thing about Chinese food in many Chinatowns. That you go to shitty Chinese restaurants does not mean that Chinese food is not Chinese.
    Also, deep dish pizza only has a passing resemblance to, say, pizza from Naples. They're in the same category of food but, imho, not really the same dish because their flavor profiles vastly differ.

    Yes, "Chicago-Style Pizza" does not have much resemblance to pizza from Naples. Congratulations on your strawman. Typical pies, however, do.

    Goumindong on
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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    When you serve something called char siu that is not prepared char siu style, you're selling fake char siu.

    When you sell a dish called Bird's Nest that is a bunch of random ingredients and noodles "arranged like a nest" you're selling fake Bird's Nest.

    I could go on, but the point is that American Chinese food is quite often some fake bullshit that insults intelligence and taste. I don't know where you've been getting your authentic szichuan and Mandarin food, but in places where there isn't a significant Chinese population, Chinese restaurants serve ass gravy like Lemon Chicken and cooked sushi.

    edit- yes there are a few "authentic" dishes like cashew chicken, but all it shares with real cashew chicken is the name.

    Sam on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Its the same god damned thing with you people complaining that Italian restaurants don't serve Risotto[seriously, what fucking Italian restaurant doesn't have Risotto? A: Probably one that serves dishes largely from Southern Italy(like, incidentally, Spaghetti is) which is much different culturally than the North, making a restaurant that decided to focus on a specific type of cuisine totally within reasonable bounds to not have Risotto. But you might know this if you had ever been to fucking Italy or done a modicum of god damned research]

    Sorry but your defense of red sauce joints is stupid. Nowhere in Italy do people eat that garbage every day.

    I'm reminded of the episode of The Sopranos where Paulie asks for macaroni and cheese at a restaurant in Italy. The waiter in replies in subtitled Italian "And they say the Germans are classless pieces of shit"

    Sam on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Going with your example of Kung Pao Chicken, the American version is distinct from the Chinese version insofar as it doesn't typically use Sichuan peppers

    Which were, until 2005, illegal to import into the U.S.

    Look, i am tired if your "one true scotsman" bullshit. We get it, its not Chinese food because its not up to your quality standards. Unless you define Chinese food as "food physically made, prepared, and served in China" then you're just being retarded in what you require for the food to be called Chinese. And if you are doing that you're retarded anyway, because no one uses that definition.
    The differences are vast enough that it's not at all unreasonable, for the most part, to simple consider them as a different category.

    Bull-fucking-shit. Pizza does not suddenly become not Pizza because it doesn't have pepperoni on it. Nor does it not become Italian food.
    sanstodo wrote: »

    I do have to say that Korean food is generally still authentic in the US. Some Koreans say it is actually better in Koreatown in NYC than in many parts of Korea.

    Chinese say the same thing about Chinese food in many Chinatowns. That you go to shitty Chinese restaurants does not mean that Chinese food is not Chinese.
    Also, deep dish pizza only has a passing resemblance to, say, pizza from Naples. They're in the same category of food but, imho, not really the same dish because their flavor profiles vastly differ.

    Yes, "Chicago-Style Pizza" does not have much resemblance to pizza from Naples. Congratulations on your strawman. Typical pies, however, do.

    The legality of food is essentially irrelevant to my point. All it means is that if pepperoni is banned in Saudi Arabia there is no legal way for me to get a pepperoni pizza in Saudi Arabia. If an ingredient that is integral to a given dish is banned in a certain country, I will not be getting that dish, legally, in that country.

    Quality also has little to do with my argument. I had some pretty lousy (in my opinion) Jiachang Doufu while I was in China but it was still Jiachang Doufu. It just wasn't cooked to my standards (I like a certain crispiness to the skin of the tofu).

    My argument is, essentially, Chinese cuisine has been Americanized to a degree that other regional or ethnic foods have not. While you're sure to find a deeper selection of Indian foods in India, it's still reasonably certain that if you go to an Indian restaurant you'll find some recognizably Indian foods, though I understand the menus are occasionally populated with some Pakistani or Malaysian dishes or the like, depending on the chef.

    In America, unless you order in Chinese (and even then it depends entirely on the restaurant), you go to a Chinese restaurant and you're going to get food that would appear or taste rather strange to a Chinese person.

    I'm not talking about pizza. You talking about pizza doesn't really have any relevance to my position. If you like though, you mention that there is a "Chicago-Style Pizza". There is a distinct "American-Style" of Chinese food, but unlike your pizza example, it's affected essentially the entire menu as opposed to a single dish.

    Loren Michael on
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  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I wonder how much depth is related to pleasure and expertise.

    For instance, certain genres of music are by definition challenging to listen to. This is not a knock against them; the people who enjoy it do so because of that. Other music, like your typical pop song, is just made to be as accessible as possible so that the broadest slice of listeners can instantly enjoy it. The problem is that they often lack what you might call depth, so that after a few listens you've basically gotten everything you could ever get from the song and the more you hear it the more it starts to grate, whereas music that is meant to be complex or challenging, while not always instantly accessible, stands up to repeat listens and your enjoyment of it can often improve with repeats, as you get more out of it the more familiar you are.

    This also happens with books, and sometimes with movies. Actually, there are many books or movies that are greatly improved (if not made readable or watchable) by knowing more about them, their context, their history, that sort of thing.

    Now, I'm certain that depth in literature is a real thing and not just some side-effect of snobbery. And I'm almost as certain that it exists in music and movies. It's not the same as thinking you're enjoying something more just because it's old or expensive or someone told you it's important.

    I'm not sure, but I think that food can also have a sort of depth. I know that there are some foods that I can eat forever and some that I'll try once and enjoy but never want again.

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  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The legality of food is essentially irrelevant to my point. All it means is that if pepperoni is banned in Saudi Arabia there is no legal way for me to get a pepperoni pizza in Saudi Arabia. If an ingredient that is integral to a given dish is banned in a certain country, I will not be getting that dish, legally, in that country.

    Quality also has little to do with my argument. I had some pretty lousy (in my opinion) Jiachang Doufu while I was in China but it was still Jiachang Doufu. It just wasn't cooked to my standards (I like a certain crispiness to the skin of the tofu).

    My argument is, essentially, Chinese cuisine has been Americanized to a degree that other regional or ethnic foods have not. While you're sure to find a deeper selection of Indian foods in India, it's still reasonably certain that if you go to an Indian restaurant you'll find some recognizably Indian foods, though I understand the menus are occasionally populated with some Pakistani or Malaysian dishes or the like, depending on the chef.

    In America, unless you order in Chinese (and even then it depends entirely on the restaurant), you go to a Chinese restaurant and you're going to get food that would appear or taste rather strange to a Chinese person.

    I'm not talking about pizza. You talking about pizza doesn't really have any relevance to my position. If you like though, you mention that there is a "Chicago-Style Pizza". There is a distinct "American-Style" of Chinese food, but unlike your pizza example, it's affected essentially the entire menu as opposed to a single dish.

    I would agree with that assessment. At least deep-dish pizza is known to originate in Chicago. Americanized-"Chinese" food isn't branded as an American invention. It's supposedly "authentic"in the same way Korean/Indian/Thai joint are supposedly authentic. It's reasonable, based on this lack of distinction and implicit claim to authenticity, that one can critique them along the lines Loren is using.

    @Sam: My girlfriend went to Italy and worked on farms while doing some art restoration. She copied down the techniques and general recipes (nothing too specific because variations abound). We cook these dishes regularly. I can't eat at most American Italian restaurants any more without getting annoyed at the amount of sugar in the red sauces and/or the lack of spice. This doesn't bother me because I don't waste money on sub-standard Italian food anymore.

    sanstodo on
  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Page- wrote: »
    I wonder how much depth is related to pleasure and expertise.

    For instance, certain genres of music are by definition challenging to listen to. This is not a knock against them; the people who enjoy it do so because of that. Other music, like your typical pop song, is just made to be as accessible as possible so that the broadest slice of listeners can instantly enjoy it. The problem is that they often lack what you might call depth, so that after a few listens you've basically gotten everything you could ever get from the song and the more you hear it the more it starts to grate, whereas music that is meant to be complex or challenging, while not always instantly accessible, stands up to repeat listens and your enjoyment of it can often improve with repeats, as you get more out of it the more familiar you are.

    This also happens with books, and sometimes with movies. Actually, there are many books or movies that are greatly improved (if not made readable or watchable) by knowing more about them, their context, their history, that sort of thing.

    Now, I'm certain that depth in literature is a real thing and not just some side-effect of snobbery. And I'm almost as certain that it exists in music and movies. It's not the same as thinking you're enjoying something more just because it's old or expensive or someone told you it's important.

    I'm not sure, but I think that food can also have a sort of depth. I know that there are some foods that I can eat forever and some that I'll try once and enjoy but never want again.

    Two people can read the same book and have vastly different experiences based on what else they've read and how much they have studied literature. For example, one of my friends despises Tolkien and the LotR. She has never read any mythology other than Greco-Roman and Christian myths. I, on the other hand, am a huge Norse mythology freak.

    So even though we were reading the same words, we were not reading the same book. It's not a side-effect of snobbery, it's a difference in the ability to extract meaning.

    sanstodo on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'm not talking about pizza. You talking about pizza doesn't really have any relevance to my position. If you like though, you mention that there is a "Chicago-Style Pizza". There is a distinct "American-Style" of Chinese food, but unlike your pizza example, it's affected essentially the entire menu as opposed to a single dish.

    American Italian affects the entire menu as well, and is also branded as "Italian"

    There's like an unspoken distinction in the name of the restaurant. If it's named after a place in Italy or simply an Italian name, it's Italian cuisine. If it's something goombah sounding like Paisano's or Bambino's it's a checker-cloth shithole.

    Sam on
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Page- wrote: »
    I wonder how much depth is related to pleasure and expertise.

    For instance, certain genres of music are by definition challenging to listen to. This is not a knock against them; the people who enjoy it do so because of that. Other music, like your typical pop song, is just made to be as accessible as possible so that the broadest slice of listeners can instantly enjoy it. The problem is that they often lack what you might call depth, so that after a few listens you've basically gotten everything you could ever get from the song and the more you hear it the more it starts to grate, whereas music that is meant to be complex or challenging, while not always instantly accessible, stands up to repeat listens and your enjoyment of it can often improve with repeats, as you get more out of it the more familiar you are.

    This also happens with books, and sometimes with movies. Actually, there are many books or movies that are greatly improved (if not made readable or watchable) by knowing more about them, their context, their history, that sort of thing.

    Now, I'm certain that depth in literature is a real thing and not just some side-effect of snobbery. And I'm almost as certain that it exists in music and movies. It's not the same as thinking you're enjoying something more just because it's old or expensive or someone told you it's important.

    I'm not sure, but I think that food can also have a sort of depth. I know that there are some foods that I can eat forever and some that I'll try once and enjoy but never want again.

    Two people can read the same book and have vastly different experiences based on what else they've read and how much they have studied literature. For example, one of my friends despises Tolkien and the LotR. She has never read any mythology other than Greco-Roman and Christian myths. I, on the other hand, am a huge Norse mythology freak.

    So even though we were reading the same words, we were not reading the same book. It's not a side-effect of snobbery, it's a difference in the ability to extract meaning.

    Well, yeah. That's what I mean. You can read and enjoy Paradise Lost, but you'll enjoy it a whole lot more if you study the context enough to at least get the references.

    Same thing with music.

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    I'm not talking about pizza. You talking about pizza doesn't really have any relevance to my position. If you like though, you mention that there is a "Chicago-Style Pizza". There is a distinct "American-Style" of Chinese food, but unlike your pizza example, it's affected essentially the entire menu as opposed to a single dish.

    American Italian affects the entire menu as well, and is also branded as "Italian"

    There's like an unspoken distinction in the name of the restaurant. If it's named after a place in Italy or simply an Italian name, it's Italian cuisine. If it's something goombah sounding like Paisano's or Bambino's it's a checker-cloth shithole.

    This is slightly diverging from my original point and the topic of the thread, but:

    While I'm sure truly Chinese-Chinese restaurants are somewhere in America (I've actually been to a couple), the fact is that while there is certainly an Americanized notion of Italian food, it's not difficult to actually find the good stuff, as you note. Where Chinese restaurants are concerned though, the typical recourse is to order in Chinese, and even that only works in very select places, most of the time in areas with a large and concentrated Chinese population.

    I haven't actually been to Italy myself, but I'm reasonably certain I've tasted authentic Italian food (went to a highly rated Italian restaurant featuring an Italian chef pretty frequently in China), I think the gap between actual Chinese food and the Americanized version is quite a bit wider than essentially any other ethnic or regional food, and I don't mean to belittle other varieties of food by suggesting that they're somehow closer to American versions or whatever, and while Guo says he's been to China (and as such I have no idea why he'd be disagreeing with me unless he's been ordering in Chinese or has a similar hook-up stateside)... I think it's difficult to appreciate the sheer alien-ness of American Chinese food relative to the stuff in China unless you've actually been there. Egg Foo Young, for example, which I love, is pretty much unheard of in China; fortune cookies are an American invention; and Ma Po Doufu, which I mentioned earlier, is spicy, meaty dish in China while in America tofu is widely considered a kind of meat substitute and they never share a dish. Unless you're ordering from the secret Chinese menu, which is not a myth, you're not going to find pork and tofu in the same "Chinese" dish in American restaurants.

    Loren Michael on
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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I have to say it's pretty damn frustrating when there's zero Sichuan pepper in any Sichuan dishes at a restaurant.

    Quid on
  • Mr. PokeylopeMr. Pokeylope Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    I'm not talking about pizza. You talking about pizza doesn't really have any relevance to my position. If you like though, you mention that there is a "Chicago-Style Pizza". There is a distinct "American-Style" of Chinese food, but unlike your pizza example, it's affected essentially the entire menu as opposed to a single dish.

    American Italian affects the entire menu as well, and is also branded as "Italian"

    There's like an unspoken distinction in the name of the restaurant. If it's named after a place in Italy or simply an Italian name, it's Italian cuisine. If it's something goombah sounding like Paisano's or Bambino's it's a checker-cloth shithole.

    This is slightly diverging from my original point and the topic of the thread, but:

    While I'm sure truly Chinese-Chinese restaurants are somewhere in America (I've actually been to a couple), the fact is that while there is certainly an Americanized notion of Italian food, it's not difficult to actually find the good stuff, as you note. Where Chinese restaurants are concerned though, the typical recourse is to order in Chinese, and even that only works in very select places, most of the time in areas with a large and concentrated Chinese population.

    I haven't actually been to Italy myself, but I'm reasonably certain I've tasted authentic Italian food (went to a highly rated Italian restaurant featuring an Italian chef pretty frequently in China), I think the gap between actual Chinese food and the Americanized version is quite a bit wider than essentially any other ethnic or regional food, and I don't mean to belittle other varieties of food by suggesting that they're somehow closer to American versions or whatever, and while Guo says he's been to China (and as such I have no idea why he'd be disagreeing with me unless he's been ordering in Chinese or has a similar hook-up stateside)... I think it's difficult to appreciate the sheer alien-ness of American Chinese food relative to the stuff in China unless you've actually been there. Egg Foo Young, for example, which I love, is pretty much unheard of in China; fortune cookies are an American invention; and Ma Po Doufu, which I mentioned earlier, is spicy, meaty dish in China while in America tofu is widely considered a kind of meat substitute and they never share a dish. Unless you're ordering from the secret Chinese menu, which is not a myth, you're not going to find pork and tofu in the same "Chinese" dish in American restaurants.

    I like how, in the same post you claim you have to go to China to understand the difference between Americanized-Chinese food and authentic Chinese food you claim to know Authentic Italian food since you had it in China. You than go on to make wide generalizations not only about American-Chinese food by all ethnic American food. You must be well travel indeed, yet you than claim to have only gone to 2 Authentic Chinese restaurants in the states, which must have been all you needed to make such a wide stretching claim.

    So let me get this straight since you have been to an Italian Restaurant in China and 2 Authetic Chinese Restaurants in the US you are an expert on the differences between Americanized-ethnic food and Authentic ethnic food.

    Aren't you a special little snow flake.

    Mr. Pokeylope on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited December 2009

    Sorry but your defense of red sauce joints is stupid. Nowhere in Italy do people eat that garbage every day.

    Nowhere in fucking anywhere do people eat restaurant food everyday. Chinese food places aren't suddenly not Chinese because they serve things other than rice.

    Shitty food is shitty food. It is not suddenly "not Chinese" or "not Italian" because its shitty. That is all that you're arguing. The small differences between some dishes and the fact that a handful dishes are authentic[meaning like, 3] does not make it suddenly "not Chinese"

    (and as such I have no idea why he'd be disagreeing with me unless he's been ordering in Chinese or has a similar hook-up stateside)

    My "hookup" is "i heard there was a good X restaurant here". Which so far has worked all the way in freaking Richmond Virginia(a place not known for its food) to get decent food of varying types. [though the Pho places are better than the Chinese places or the Mexican places] I say this as one who is used to Seattle/Vancouver China town quality places.

    Goumindong on
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