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Old 23-11-2006, 07:39 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

A few random thoughts here.

First there is presentation. When you start deliberately mixing food
together on the table - haha how can you call it an 'art' with
those bibimbap or something, in a charred stone bowl or all that lo
mein on a sizzling plate? One of the hallmarks of haute cuisine is its
emphasis on preparation or presentation technique -not how you
reproduce your stomach contents for public view! In fact in haute
cuisine often different ingredients are cooked separately to the right
degree of 'ripeness' and then mixed together, hence the
extraordinary amount of time needed for preparation. Bento boxes -
and these are considered cheap Japanese - like 'rice boxes' -
nonetheless preserve or at least pretend to preserve this quality.
Koreans and the Chinese do not. Else you may as well go for an infant
diet or a pureed diet for old people. The fact that everyone digs into
a public plate in the case of Chinese - thus sometimes without a pair
of public utensil (i.e. chopstick) is yet another 'low class' sign
- it's probably a residual from an ancient powwow ceremony where
people just feast on a dead carcass after a long day's hunt. Very
very primitive (or authentic, depends on your perspective).

Décor of the restaurant is another issue and is peripheral to this
subject of presentation. Even a middle class Japanese restaurant (at
least in North America) is quiet - meaning you can hear what your
neighbors are saying, unlike Chinese or sometimes Korean - and at
times you feel like you've entered a monastery or Shinto temple
inadvertently where you start your life journey and engage in some epic
meditation session. "Authentic" Chinese restaurants - even the so
called more
expensive ones are like a flea markets or a public high school
cafeterias where you need to shove your way in and where you are
sometimes given a time limit on when you should finish your food, and
where you have to combat waiters from mixing residual food between
dishes together - just so they get a head start in dish cleaning, if
they do that at all....

The use of ingredients is important. Eggs or bean sprouts may be valid
ingredients but they are very cheap, and are definitely not suitable
for a main course dish at supper, and are certainly no showcase prizes.
No, in fact the use of these materials reflects a sign of historical
economic dearth when you think about it. It's not so common in North
America but I think in mainland China people are so poor they eat
tomatoes, scrambled eggs, and tofu as their main dinner dish day after
day, night after night! Whoa!!

I think 'high class' cuisine often seeks to preserve freshness and
the true, 'original' flavor of the food with a minimal amount of
seasoning. Chinese cuisine often resort to deep frying or stir frying,
and certain provincial Chinese (like Szechuan) use spices or MSG to
mask their flaws. Some Korean dishes encourage the use of hot sauce
(e.g. the bibimbap). Sort of like poor Indians using curry in
everything - thus you can really have a crappy piece of meat (if they
can afford it) but you still won't be able to tell what's in it.
It's like a woman who relies too heavily on makeup. That's why
ground beef is low grade but you'll never mince filet mignon. And why
many Chinese kitchens are so invisible - so secretive and furtive in
their preparation of food that they in fact don't even pass public
health standards!! One report I read demonstrated that it's cleaner
(measured in terms of a lack of bacterial count) to eat off the *floor*
of a university microbiology lab than a food tray at fast foods places
where teens spit on your onion rings (is that true, or is that just
Eminem lyrics) or at Chinese restaurants.

Another sign is quality vs quantity. Chinese buffets now abound in
North America - because they are cheap - and Chinese buffets love
to emphasize quantity at the expense of quality. They are geared
towards 300 lb trailer wives and inner city single moms and new
southeast Asian immigrants probably. Higher class restaurants
emphasize more on preparation and not on quantity, and the end product
is presented perhaps as a psychological mechanism - product being food
is so much smaller than the plate, and are 'vertically stacked' rather
than a 'horizontal mess'.

Also, practically, when was the last time at a quiet, sedate wine
'n' cheese inbred soirees or business meetings that they serve
Chinese food? Never! Never! Never! These just do not have the
same cachet at upper middle class or upper class/educated functions -
it's like wearing a tracksuit to a wedding. Japanese is however
increasingly served in these functions, and in fact I think it adds a
touch of cosmopolitanism to an otherwise dull mélange of French and
Italian.

And let's not forget also that at the lower middle class level, we
see Chinese and Koreans trying to operate Japanese restaurants, dishing
(pun huh?) out ersatz Japanese food. You just don't see things the
other way around.

Here is another practical reason. We now know how beneficial omega-3
acids are to health. These are found in cold-water fish amongst other
food items. Fish - sushi, sashimi - is one of the main staples of
Japanese diet. And the Japanese have one of the world's longest life
expectancy at ~81 years, last time I checked.

So why is all this important? Food is like sex. Hunger is one of our
natural, human, cardinal urges. It may be a non-topic and neglected
when it's abundant, such as in North America, but since food is
required by everyone to survive, i.e. it drives natural selection,
cultural varations hold a key to understanding something deeper
perhaps. I think what we eat and how we do it - like sexual norms and
mores - reflect and reveal ourselves more than anything else. I've
listed a few suggestions here, as a brute, who visits, occasionally,
Burger King. But if I can see it, I'm sure others can also.

Yeah yeah I know, "de gustibus non est disputandum", i.e. taste is
not disputable. But in this mano a mano comparison between Japanese and
Chinese/Korean cuisine, I say the Japanese won hands down.

Postscript: two other objective data points.

1. Price. Unless they're Chinese or Korean owned, Japanese restaurants
in general charge a premium for their food and services. While the free
market is not always rational, it does indicate that there is a demand,
at least in North America. And I think that's true in the Far East as
well outside Japan - Japanese restaurants are never considered 'cheap
food' or 'lower class food'. Zagat survey indicates many more Japanese
that make it on top compared to Chinese, *in spite of* the latter's
popularity. It's almost like 150 girls and 50 boys competing for the
Math Olympiad, but the top 10 winners are all boys.

2. Yes you can get real sick from Chinese food. It's called the Chinese
Restaurant Syndrome. Heard of it? He
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001126.htm

"Chinese restaurant syndrome is a collection of symptoms that some
people experience after eating Chinese food. A food additive called
monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been implicated, but it has not been
proved to be the agent that causes this condition."

"Life-threatening symptoms may be similar to any other severe allergic
reaction and require immediate medical attention. These include the
following:

* Swelling of the throat
* Chest pain
* Heart palpitations
* Shortness of breath"

Seems that the above 2 points which have been blatantly neglected in my
first go-around carry more weight. Chinese food more often than not
just does not have the same cachet as Japanese.

Make no mistake: Chinese food is very much like porn: (1) best enjoyed
private and takeout, (2) good variety, (3) addictive to some, (4)
cheap, (5) often dirty, and (6) most outlets are found in sleazy
neighborhoods. That is, it's way way fun. It's just not always
mentioned in the same breath as your CEO's inbred wine 'n' cheese
soiree.


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Old 23-11-2006, 10:45 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

From the looks of your 2752 posts it looks like you don't like chinese
and africans that much eh?

Seriously, check out this guy's post log at

http://groups.google.com/groups/prof...WXi1Vg &hl=en

He is a complete nutcase.

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Old 23-11-2006, 02:00 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

Ha! Interesting and "politically incorrect"!

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Old 23-11-2006, 06:10 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food


A few random thoughts here.


Yes, random is the word.

Jukka
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Old 23-11-2006, 06:41 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food


Your clock is set incorrectly, in more ways than one.

Dora




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Old 23-11-2006, 06:56 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

On 2006-11-22 23:39:36 -0800, "RichAsianKid" said:

A few random thoughts here.


Surely you can't get any more random.

First there is presentation. When you start deliberately mixing food
together on the table - haha how can you call it an 'art' with
those bibimbap or something, in a charred stone bowl or all that lo
mein on a sizzling plate?


I thought you were going to talk about presentation. "Bibimbap or
something" is not vastly unike many other dishes and can be presented
almost anyway one likes. Traditionally Korean food is presented
traditionally, a stone bowl certainly has an aesthetic value. A
sizzling plate potentially has much more presentational value that a
round white disk.

One of the hallmarks of haute cuisine...


Not all food is or purportes to be haute cuisine. It is not good while
all else is bad. Most Japanese food is not Haute cuisine either.

Décor of the restaurant is another issue and is peripheral to this
subject of presentation. Even a middle class Japanese restaurant (at
least in North America) is quiet - meaning you can hear what your
neighbors are saying...


That's not true. Except the "peripheral" part. This is dull fallacy.
Japanese restaurants are quiet and Chinese and Koreans are loud?
Completely false. You should get out more. It would be easier to say
that Japanese are good and Chinese are bad and let it go at that. It
would have all the "random thought" value you could give it: none.

...and at times you feel like you've entered a monastery or Shinto
temple inadvertently where you start your life journey and engage in
some epic meditation...


Try to get a grip man. We're purportedly talking about food, remember?
What the hell restaurant/shrine are you talking about?

"Authentic" Chinese restaurants - even the so called more expensive
ones are like a flea markets or a public high school cafeterias...


Imagine how much more you might dislike them if you had actually visited one!

The use of ingredients is important. Eggs or bean sprouts may be valid
ingredients but they are very cheap...


I guess rice gruel loaded with gold leaf would be good then?

It's not so common in North America but I think in mainland China
people are so poor they eat tomatoes, scrambled eggs, and tofu as their
main dinner dish day after day, night after night! Whoa!!


Whoa is right! I think you're thinking has some major gaps in it. It's
more like "crippled" I suppose.

I think 'high class' cuisine often seeks to preserve freshness and the
true, 'original' flavor of the food with a minimal amount of
seasoning...


I guess we're going to dump Italian, French and Indian foods as "high
class", then? And also, do you really believe the entire world is
either eating "high class" food or crap? Are those really the only two
options?

Another sign is quality vs quantity. Chinese buffets now abound in
North America - because they are cheap - and Chinese buffets love to
emphasize quantity at the expense of quality. They are geared towards
300 lb trailer wives and inner city single moms and new southeast Asian
immigrants probably. Higher class restaurants emphasize more on
preparation and not on quantity, and the end product is presented
perhaps as a psychological mechanism - product being food is so much
smaller than the plate, and are 'vertically stacked' rather than a
'horizontal mess'.


What you've said is that expensive restaurants focus on different
thinngs than inexpensive restaurants. That's pretty amazing logic.
It's true that Chinese-American families (and Vietnamese-American),
frequently dining in larger groups, have a different approach to cost
and dining style than sushi-bars. Is that some kind of major satori
for you? Do your mental "difficulties" always have you comparing
apples to oranges, or only on this topic?

I can't imagine the level of mental problems you must have to provide
such a large pile of faux logic to provide your anti-Chinese bias.

Also, practically, when was the last time at a quiet, sedate wine 'n'
cheese inbred soirees or business meetings that they serve Chinese
food? Never! Never! Never!


Quite a number of times. And I've never had a wine 'n' chese inbred
soiree with Japanese food. So what does that mean? Only that Chinese
food is probably easier to cater than Japanese. Does that make
Japanese gooder?

These just do not have the same cachet at upper middle class or upper
class/educated functions - it's like wearing a tracksuit to a wedding.
Japanese is however increasingly served in these functions, and in fact
I think it adds a touch of cosmopolitanism to an otherwise dull mélange
of French and Italian.


How much cache is there in the same bullshit rubber chicken and boiled
vegetables, because that's what I usually get for dinner in what of
these soirees. Does that make it good?

Here is another practical reason. We now know how beneficial omega-3
acids are to health. These are found in cold-water fish amongst other
food items. Fish - sushi, sashimi - is one of the main staples of
Japanese diet. And the Japanese have one of the world's longest life
expectancy at ~81 years, last time I checked.


And one of the higher rates of suicide. So I guess the omega-3 acids
must be the reason why. Your bullshit approach to science is almost as
bad as your bullshit approach to aesthetics.

So why is all this important?


Because you have mental problems and this is your only opportunity to
foist them on others?

Food is like sex.


Oh-oh. I think you need to get a bona fide counseler and work through
this topic with them.

Yeah yeah I know, "de gustibus non est disputandum", i.e. taste is not
disputable. But in this mano a mano comparison between Japanese and
Chinese/Korean cuisine, I say the Japanese won hands down.


It would be better if you you used this "pene en mano" argument at the
beginning and decided to forego supporting information. Because you
haven't provided much of the later.

Postscript: two other objective data points.


Really objective?

1. Price. Unless they're Chinese or Korean owned, Japanese restaurants
in general charge a premium for their food and services.


And the supporting objective data? When you've said Japanese I assume
you mean, throughout, sushi restaurants. Japanese roll-and-bowl joints
don't charge a premium. And what does "charging a premium" say about
the food? Nothing. Why don't we throw Cartier in there, since you're
really not talking about food-related considerations.

2. Yes you can get real sick from Chinese food. It's called the Chinese
Restaurant Syndrome.


You can get real sick from any food poorly prepared. Fugu has it's
liabilities, a few die from it each year. Salmonilla and e. coli are
known in all dining places that serve meat. I don't think msg poisoning
is an actual killer.

A food additive called monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been implicated,
but it has not been proved to be the agent that causes this condition."


If it has not proven to be the agent, why are you citing it?

Make no mistake: Chinese food is very much like porn.


I'll assume you have enough background in the later to begin the
comparison, but I'm not sure you have enough "focus" on the former for
it to make any sense.


-- What a day this has been, what a rare mood I'm in.

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Old 23-11-2006, 09:56 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food


Seriously, check out this guy's post log at


He is a complete nutcase.

________________________________________________


Complete nut case ?!! I read English , sounds like he gets a
message across very
diplomatically .
ad hominem !! Attack the man , rather than his
words !!
You are the Luddite here , go away ....

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Old 23-11-2006, 10:09 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

You have never experienced a formal chinese dinner of 10 - 30 courses.

Try that experience one time, then comment with some valid experience.
Chinese buffets are not 'real' chinese food at all...


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Old 24-11-2006, 03:20 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

America is the land of reinvention.
Pizza, Lasagna, Parmesan served here have tenuous ties to Italy & only
really originate from a few areas south of Rome.

So called Jewish delicatessen including bagels & smoked meats find their
origin in Poland & Russia and Latvia, Lithuania, Romania. The first time a
relocated German or Austrian Jew has pastrami is in the US and Canada. And
until people visited Israel, who knew from Falafel?

The same holds true for Mexican, Indian, Pakistani and SE Asian cuisine.

From the time Chinese arrived in the US, restaurants catering to
non-Chinese. created easy to understand dishes. Most Chinese dishes favored
were from the Pekinese or Mandarin side of the menu. After travel to the
Orient became popular Mongolian, Szechwan & Hunan dishes were added to the
bill of fare. When I went to Singapore for a week, I worked my way through
China's provinces and Malaysia.

The Japanese experience was typical; sukiyaki, teriyaki, hibachi presaged
sushi, sashimi and bento boxes.

The only cuisines that crossed the two big oceans intact, more or less, were
Great Britain(includes Scotland & Ireland) and Western Europe but even those
cuisines were adapted for local palates. (Name me a pre 1980 French
Restaurant that didn't serve Coq au Vin or a German place without Schnitzel
& Bratwurst

"~xy~" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
You have never experienced a formal chinese dinner of 10 - 30 courses.

Try that experience one time, then comment with some valid experience.
Chinese buffets are not 'real' chinese food at all...




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Old 24-11-2006, 03:57 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

On 2006-11-23 13:56:53 -0800, "werty" said:


Seriously, check out this guy's post log at


He is a complete nutcase.

________________________________________________


Complete nut case ?!! I read English , sounds like he gets a
message across very
diplomatically .


You must have a very strange use for the word "diplomatic".

ad hominem !! Attack the man , rather than his
words !!
You are the Luddite here , go away ....


I attacked his words. After that I called him an idiot and racist.
Logical conclusions.
--
What a day this has been, what a rare mood I'm in.



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Old 24-11-2006, 04:06 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
ian ian is offline
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

RichAsianKid wrote:
A few random thoughts here.

First there is presentation. When you start deliberately mixing food
together on the table - haha how can you call it an 'art' with
those bibimbap or something, in a charred stone bowl or all that lo
mein on a sizzling plate? One of the hallmarks of haute cuisine is its
emphasis on preparation or presentation technique -not how you
reproduce your stomach contents for public view! In fact in haute
cuisine often different ingredients are cooked separately to the right
degree of 'ripeness' and then mixed together, hence the
extraordinary amount of time needed for preparation. Bento boxes -
and these are considered cheap Japanese - like 'rice boxes' -
nonetheless preserve or at least pretend to preserve this quality.
Koreans and the Chinese do not. Else you may as well go for an infant
diet or a pureed diet for old people. The fact that everyone digs into
a public plate in the case of Chinese - thus sometimes without a pair
of public utensil (i.e. chopstick) is yet another 'low class' sign
- it's probably a residual from an ancient powwow ceremony where
people just feast on a dead carcass after a long day's hunt. Very
very primitive (or authentic, depends on your perspective).

Décor of the restaurant is another issue and is peripheral to this
subject of presentation. Even a middle class Japanese restaurant (at
least in North America) is quiet - meaning you can hear what your
neighbors are saying, unlike Chinese or sometimes Korean - and at
times you feel like you've entered a monastery or Shinto temple
inadvertently where you start your life journey and engage in some epic
meditation session. "Authentic" Chinese restaurants - even the so
called more
expensive ones are like a flea markets or a public high school
cafeterias where you need to shove your way in and where you are
sometimes given a time limit on when you should finish your food, and
where you have to combat waiters from mixing residual food between
dishes together - just so they get a head start in dish cleaning, if
they do that at all....

The use of ingredients is important. Eggs or bean sprouts may be valid
ingredients but they are very cheap, and are definitely not suitable
for a main course dish at supper, and are certainly no showcase prizes.
No, in fact the use of these materials reflects a sign of historical
economic dearth when you think about it. It's not so common in North
America but I think in mainland China people are so poor they eat
tomatoes, scrambled eggs, and tofu as their main dinner dish day after
day, night after night! Whoa!!

I think 'high class' cuisine often seeks to preserve freshness and
the true, 'original' flavor of the food with a minimal amount of
seasoning. Chinese cuisine often resort to deep frying or stir frying,
and certain provincial Chinese (like Szechuan) use spices or MSG to
mask their flaws. Some Korean dishes encourage the use of hot sauce
(e.g. the bibimbap). Sort of like poor Indians using curry in
everything - thus you can really have a crappy piece of meat (if they
can afford it) but you still won't be able to tell what's in it.
It's like a woman who relies too heavily on makeup. That's why
ground beef is low grade but you'll never mince filet mignon. And why
many Chinese kitchens are so invisible - so secretive and furtive in
their preparation of food that they in fact don't even pass public
health standards!! One report I read demonstrated that it's cleaner
(measured in terms of a lack of bacterial count) to eat off the *floor*
of a university microbiology lab than a food tray at fast foods places
where teens spit on your onion rings (is that true, or is that just
Eminem lyrics) or at Chinese restaurants.

Another sign is quality vs quantity. Chinese buffets now abound in
North America - because they are cheap - and Chinese buffets love
to emphasize quantity at the expense of quality. They are geared
towards 300 lb trailer wives and inner city single moms and new
southeast Asian immigrants probably. Higher class restaurants
emphasize more on preparation and not on quantity, and the end product
is presented perhaps as a psychological mechanism - product being food
is so much smaller than the plate, and are 'vertically stacked' rather
than a 'horizontal mess'.

Also, practically, when was the last time at a quiet, sedate wine
'n' cheese inbred soirees or business meetings that they serve
Chinese food? Never! Never! Never! These just do not have the
same cachet at upper middle class or upper class/educated functions -
it's like wearing a tracksuit to a wedding. Japanese is however
increasingly served in these functions, and in fact I think it adds a
touch of cosmopolitanism to an otherwise dull mélange of French and
Italian.

And let's not forget also that at the lower middle class level, we
see Chinese and Koreans trying to operate Japanese restaurants, dishing
(pun huh?) out ersatz Japanese food. You just don't see things the
other way around.

Here is another practical reason. We now know how beneficial omega-3
acids are to health. These are found in cold-water fish amongst other
food items. Fish - sushi, sashimi - is one of the main staples of
Japanese diet. And the Japanese have one of the world's longest life
expectancy at ~81 years, last time I checked.

So why is all this important? Food is like sex. Hunger is one of our
natural, human, cardinal urges. It may be a non-topic and neglected
when it's abundant, such as in North America, but since food is
required by everyone to survive, i.e. it drives natural selection,
cultural varations hold a key to understanding something deeper
perhaps. I think what we eat and how we do it - like sexual norms and
mores - reflect and reveal ourselves more than anything else. I've
listed a few suggestions here, as a brute, who visits, occasionally,
Burger King. But if I can see it, I'm sure others can also.

Yeah yeah I know, "de gustibus non est disputandum", i.e. taste is
not disputable. But in this mano a mano comparison between Japanese and
Chinese/Korean cuisine, I say the Japanese won hands down.

Postscript: two other objective data points.

1. Price. Unless they're Chinese or Korean owned, Japanese restaurants
in general charge a premium for their food and services. While the free
market is not always rational, it does indicate that there is a demand,
at least in North America. And I think that's true in the Far East as
well outside Japan - Japanese restaurants are never considered 'cheap
food' or 'lower class food'. Zagat survey indicates many more Japanese
that make it on top compared to Chinese, *in spite of* the latter's
popularity. It's almost like 150 girls and 50 boys competing for the
Math Olympiad, but the top 10 winners are all boys.

2. Yes you can get real sick from Chinese food. It's called the Chinese
Restaurant Syndrome. Heard of it? He
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001126.htm

"Chinese restaurant syndrome is a collection of symptoms that some
people experience after eating Chinese food. A food additive called
monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been implicated, but it has not been
proved to be the agent that causes this condition."

"Life-threatening symptoms may be similar to any other severe allergic
reaction and require immediate medical attention. These include the
following:

* Swelling of the throat
* Chest pain
* Heart palpitations
* Shortness of breath"

Seems that the above 2 points which have been blatantly neglected in my
first go-around carry more weight. Chinese food more often than not
just does not have the same cachet as Japanese.

Make no mistake: Chinese food is very much like porn: (1) best enjoyed
private and takeout, (2) good variety, (3) addictive to some, (4)
cheap, (5) often dirty, and (6) most outlets are found in sleazy
neighborhoods. That is, it's way way fun. It's just not always
mentioned in the same breath as your CEO's inbred wine 'n' cheese
soiree.


Well, the PFChang China Bistro shows one way towards increasing respect
for Chinese food. Susannah Foo has a Chinese Restaurant in Philadelphia
that has a very good reputation. Barbara Tropp had, until she died, the
China Moon restaurant in SF. And thats just scraping the surface. In
reality, there are all kinds and levels of Chinese food served out there
- cachet appears to be in the eyes of the beholder. Anyone who knows
much about food knows that Chinese cuisine is as refined and
sophisticated as any in the world.

Ian



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Old 24-11-2006, 04:55 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food


"ian" wrote in message
...
RichAsianKid wrote:
A few random thoughts here.

First there is presentation. When you start deliberately mixing food
together on the table - haha how can you call it an 'art' with
those bibimbap or something, in a charred stone bowl or all that lo
mein on a sizzling plate? One of the hallmarks of haute cuisine is its
emphasis on preparation or presentation technique -not how you
reproduce your stomach contents for public view! In fact in haute
cuisine often different ingredients are cooked separately to the right
degree of 'ripeness' and then mixed together, hence the
extraordinary amount of time needed for preparation. Bento boxes -
and these are considered cheap Japanese - like 'rice boxes' -
nonetheless preserve or at least pretend to preserve this quality.
Koreans and the Chinese do not. Else you may as well go for an infant
diet or a pureed diet for old people. The fact that everyone digs into
a public plate in the case of Chinese - thus sometimes without a pair
of public utensil (i.e. chopstick) is yet another 'low class' sign
- it's probably a residual from an ancient powwow ceremony where
people just feast on a dead carcass after a long day's hunt. Very
very primitive (or authentic, depends on your perspective).

Décor of the restaurant is another issue and is peripheral to this
subject of presentation. Even a middle class Japanese restaurant (at
least in North America) is quiet - meaning you can hear what your
neighbors are saying, unlike Chinese or sometimes Korean - and at
times you feel like you've entered a monastery or Shinto temple
inadvertently where you start your life journey and engage in some epic
meditation session. "Authentic" Chinese restaurants - even the so
called more
expensive ones are like a flea markets or a public high school
cafeterias where you need to shove your way in and where you are
sometimes given a time limit on when you should finish your food, and
where you have to combat waiters from mixing residual food between
dishes together - just so they get a head start in dish cleaning, if
they do that at all....

The use of ingredients is important. Eggs or bean sprouts may be valid
ingredients but they are very cheap, and are definitely not suitable
for a main course dish at supper, and are certainly no showcase prizes.
No, in fact the use of these materials reflects a sign of historical
economic dearth when you think about it. It's not so common in North
America but I think in mainland China people are so poor they eat
tomatoes, scrambled eggs, and tofu as their main dinner dish day after
day, night after night! Whoa!!

I think 'high class' cuisine often seeks to preserve freshness and
the true, 'original' flavor of the food with a minimal amount of
seasoning. Chinese cuisine often resort to deep frying or stir frying,
and certain provincial Chinese (like Szechuan) use spices or MSG to
mask their flaws. Some Korean dishes encourage the use of hot sauce
(e.g. the bibimbap). Sort of like poor Indians using curry in
everything - thus you can really have a crappy piece of meat (if they
can afford it) but you still won't be able to tell what's in it.
It's like a woman who relies too heavily on makeup. That's why
ground beef is low grade but you'll never mince filet mignon. And why
many Chinese kitchens are so invisible - so secretive and furtive in
their preparation of food that they in fact don't even pass public
health standards!! One report I read demonstrated that it's cleaner
(measured in terms of a lack of bacterial count) to eat off the *floor*
of a university microbiology lab than a food tray at fast foods places
where teens spit on your onion rings (is that true, or is that just
Eminem lyrics) or at Chinese restaurants.

Another sign is quality vs quantity. Chinese buffets now abound in
North America - because they are cheap - and Chinese buffets love
to emphasize quantity at the expense of quality. They are geared
towards 300 lb trailer wives and inner city single moms and new
southeast Asian immigrants probably. Higher class restaurants
emphasize more on preparation and not on quantity, and the end product
is presented perhaps as a psychological mechanism - product being food
is so much smaller than the plate, and are 'vertically stacked' rather
than a 'horizontal mess'.

Also, practically, when was the last time at a quiet, sedate wine
'n' cheese inbred soirees or business meetings that they serve
Chinese food? Never! Never! Never! These just do not have the
same cachet at upper middle class or upper class/educated functions -
it's like wearing a tracksuit to a wedding. Japanese is however
increasingly served in these functions, and in fact I think it adds a
touch of cosmopolitanism to an otherwise dull mélange of French and
Italian.

And let's not forget also that at the lower middle class level, we
see Chinese and Koreans trying to operate Japanese restaurants, dishing
(pun huh?) out ersatz Japanese food. You just don't see things the
other way around.

Here is another practical reason. We now know how beneficial omega-3
acids are to health. These are found in cold-water fish amongst other
food items. Fish - sushi, sashimi - is one of the main staples of
Japanese diet. And the Japanese have one of the world's longest life
expectancy at ~81 years, last time I checked.

So why is all this important? Food is like sex. Hunger is one of our
natural, human, cardinal urges. It may be a non-topic and neglected
when it's abundant, such as in North America, but since food is
required by everyone to survive, i.e. it drives natural selection,
cultural varations hold a key to understanding something deeper
perhaps. I think what we eat and how we do it - like sexual norms and
mores - reflect and reveal ourselves more than anything else. I've
listed a few suggestions here, as a brute, who visits, occasionally,
Burger King. But if I can see it, I'm sure others can also.

Yeah yeah I know, "de gustibus non est disputandum", i.e. taste is
not disputable. But in this mano a mano comparison between Japanese and
Chinese/Korean cuisine, I say the Japanese won hands down.

Postscript: two other objective data points.

1. Price. Unless they're Chinese or Korean owned, Japanese restaurants
in general charge a premium for their food and services. While the free
market is not always rational, it does indicate that there is a demand,
at least in North America. And I think that's true in the Far East as
well outside Japan - Japanese restaurants are never considered 'cheap
food' or 'lower class food'. Zagat survey indicates many more Japanese
that make it on top compared to Chinese, *in spite of* the latter's
popularity. It's almost like 150 girls and 50 boys competing for the
Math Olympiad, but the top 10 winners are all boys.

2. Yes you can get real sick from Chinese food. It's called the Chinese
Restaurant Syndrome. Heard of it? He
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001126.htm

"Chinese restaurant syndrome is a collection of symptoms that some
people experience after eating Chinese food. A food additive called
monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been implicated, but it has not been
proved to be the agent that causes this condition."

"Life-threatening symptoms may be similar to any other severe allergic
reaction and require immediate medical attention. These include the
following:

* Swelling of the throat
* Chest pain
* Heart palpitations
* Shortness of breath"

Seems that the above 2 points which have been blatantly neglected in my
first go-around carry more weight. Chinese food more often than not
just does not have the same cachet as Japanese.

Make no mistake: Chinese food is very much like porn: (1) best enjoyed
private and takeout, (2) good variety, (3) addictive to some, (4)
cheap, (5) often dirty, and (6) most outlets are found in sleazy
neighborhoods. That is, it's way way fun. It's just not always
mentioned in the same breath as your CEO's inbred wine 'n' cheese
soiree.


Well, the PFChang China Bistro shows one way towards increasing respect
for Chinese food. Susannah Foo has a Chinese Restaurant in Philadelphia
that has a very good reputation. Barbara Tropp had, until she died, the
China Moon restaurant in SF. And thats just scraping the surface. In
reality, there are all kinds and levels of Chinese food served out there
- cachet appears to be in the eyes of the beholder. Anyone who knows
much about food knows that Chinese cuisine is as refined and
sophisticated as any in the world.

Ian


Increasing respect? Or merely increasing expoloitation of a clientele who
really have no idea what good or bad Chinese food is?
I ate at a PF Chang's. Once. Won't happen again.
On a par with eating sushi at a Todai.
So far I haven't run into "bad" Korean food which makes me happy.
M




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Old 24-11-2006, 08:13 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

On 2006-11-23 20:55:11 -0800, "Musashi" said:

Increasing respect? Or merely increasing expoloitation of a clientele who
really have no idea what good or bad Chinese food is?


Beats chop suey in one of those joints that serve really bad 1960's
style "Chinese" food. There all over middle America.

I ate at a PF Chang's. Once. Won't happen again.


I'll echo that. Well, I'll probably eat there again when I'm a
minority in the dining selection crew, but I thought it a lot of
blabber and expense for relatively little. It is to Chinese food what
the Olive Garden is to Italian: formulaic, consistent/predictable and
overpriced.

On a par with eating sushi at a Todai.


I'm not a fan of the sushi at Todai, the rest of the stuff can good to
very good. But it's an unfair comparison. Todai isn't really ABOUT
sushi, do you think? I don't know, maybe it is. But it certainly
isn't a formulae chain approach to sushi.

So far I haven't run into "bad" Korean food which makes me happy.


Once they get the Korean BBQ thing down they'll probably have an equivalent.

I note in the paper that the originator of the Chowhounds web page, now
sold to CNet is taking a cross-country dining tour and shares and
interesting observation. All towns seem to have a Vietnamese
restaurant now. Doesn't surprise me in the least. I predicted it 20
years ago. Americans love noodles, chicken soup, egg rolls, and much
of the rest of a straight-up-the-middle Vietnamese restaurant.

I expect a one-size-fits-all chain to emerge soon.
--
What a day this has been, what a rare mood I'm in.

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Old 24-11-2006, 10:19 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

RichAsianKid wrote:

Here is another practical reason. We now know how beneficial omega-3
acids are to health. These are found in cold-water fish amongst other
food items. Fish - sushi, sashimi - is one of the main staples of
Japanese diet. And the Japanese have one of the world's longest life
expectancy at ~81 years, last time I checked.


The Japanese also have the highest rate of stomach cancer in the world and
they now have mass screening for it. They must be doing something wrong!
Could it be their diet?


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Old 24-11-2006, 10:27 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,alt.food.sushi,alt.cooking-chat,alt.food.asian,alt.food.wine
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Default Chinese food vs Japanese food

On 2006-11-24, Mrs Bonk wrote:

The Japanese also have the highest rate of stomach cancer in the world and
they now have mass screening for it. They must be doing something wrong!
Could it be their diet?


They also have a very high incidence gout.

nb


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