Tag Archives: Chinese Food

Notes from Best Fuzhou, Unabridged

Due to space constraints and certain so-called copy ‘rules,’ my latest column for the Spectator appeared in abridged form. Here, I am publishing the full version. It is not that the Spectator version is inferior—some may find it infinitely more enjoyable—but rather that it is different, both in aesthetic effect and implicit meaning. You will notice that in the Spectator version, all quoted source material has been excised. In this unabridged version, the quotations remain in their original, unattributed form. If you are interested in finding out where the quotes come from, I’m happy to answer any and all queries. Click here for the abridged version.

The tongue is a lean muscle. It swims through linguistic fluid, writhes over benthic riddles, stiffens and retreats like a sea slug crawling across strange corals. Like a pig’s tongue—snuffling tree roots or extended in squeals—the human lingua, from to root to apex, is a fleshy, muscular organ “divided into lateral halves by a median fibrous septum which extends throughout its entire length and is fixed below to the hyoid bone.” Without the tongue, we could neither taste nor speak—the essential consumptive and expulsive functions of the oral cavity would be rendered pleasureless. I feel sorry for the pig who gave his tongue for our dinner at Best Fuzhou. What a dull and inarticulate life! But if the mouth of the righteous is sodden with wisdom, the perverted tongue will be excised. I have personally performed a glossectomy of necessary and delicious ends. Cooked in soy sauce and chilled until dense and gelatinous, my pig’s tongue tastes like curses and corned beef. Continue reading

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Filed under Columbia University, Dining Suggestions, Essays, New York City, Restaurants, Theory and Criticism

A Red Fusion: Eye-Watering Hunan Food

by Kuang He, Yale University

I have long suffered from an obsession with spicy food. It turns my body into a fusion reactor, yet I still die for it. I heard that people in Szechuan and Hunan eat spicy food to withstand the damp and chilly weather. But for me, spicy food is atop the list even in the middle of the summer. After nine months of ‘I-eat-to-survive’ experience in America, the first thing I seek after I get off the plane is  spicy food—tongue-cracking spicy food.

So here I am, sitting in Shanghai’s most popular Hunan Restaurant, South Memory. Continue reading

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Filed under China, Dining Suggestions, Kuang H.

Remember It, It’s Chinatown

After living in New York for nearly two years, I still feel like a tourist when I wander into Chinatown. With its precariously curling streets and crowds of shoppers, Chinatown seems to extend infinitely in all directions; Manhattan recedes from the viewer, leaving only an alien microcosm. Indeed, I am a foreigner here: I do not speak the language, I cannot read the signs, I stand outside the world and look inwards. There, I find mysterious spectacle and exotic flora, submerged history and the terribly familiar. Subway, Citibank, and Häagen-Dazs stand next to vendors hawking grapes the size of bull testicles, dried mackerel, bean curd, and dragon’s beard candy—hand-pulled threads of sugar folded into wispy bundles. Constantly expanding, Chinatown colonizes nearby neighborhoods while falling victim to the colonizer, too; even as it swallows up the last scraps of the Lower East Side, Chinatown faces its own parasites: the homogenizing gaze of the multinational corporation, the sanitizing wipes of wealth, the sterilizing wash of “assimilation,” “incorporation,” and “post-industrialization.” These bugs carry their own peculiar disease, a variety of forgetting that erases the physical remnants of the past. Where history has been inscribed on the cityscape, McDonald’s rewrites; where the past pokes through layers of urban sedimentation, a new condominium sandblasts history smooth. Finding outcroppings of history in Chinatown proves more difficult with every chain store and supermarket that emerges. Continue reading

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Filed under Columbia University, Dining Suggestions, New York City, Restaurants, Reviews, Travel

Not Just Another Orange Chicken

Caleb P., New England Conservatory

Nestled in a crowded strip of restaurants on Boylston Street right off of Massachusetts Avenue lies a gem of Asian cuisine for college students, both in quality of food and speedy delivery. Continue reading

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Filed under Boston, Caleb P., Dining Suggestions, New England Conservatory, Restaurants, Reviews