You’re so picky

Being picky
No, it’s called being selective!

Ok, so I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this before, but I’m writing it again because it gets me really annoyed… and of course, in my mind I’m justifiably right…because once again there’s a logical process.

What the hell am I talking about?

‘Being picky’ with food.

Or being picky with anything in fact.

I get this a lot when I’m in China, because there are indeed many things that Chinese people eat, where people elsewhere in the world wouldn’t dream of eating, or at least not in the way Chinese people do.

It’s quite ironic of course, …like many things in China, but you will often here ‘oh yeah, I like all kinds of foods’

And then you take someone to an India restaurant…and they’re unsure, and then say to you ‘oh actually this is pretty good’

Well, if you say you like all kind of foods…surely that’s based on something, like perhaps you’ve tried all kinds of foods

And when you say the word ‘actually’… essentially that’s calling to attention something that was proved to be different from what you thought it was.  So what was your predisposed thought for Indian food in that case?
That you weren’t going to like it perhaps?
That doesn’t sound like what a person who supposedly likes ‘All foods’ should be saying.

I’m guessing you’ve already guessed what they really mean, but they really mean is ‘I like all CHINESE foods’, …which of course isn’t really ALL foods now is it?

But going back to the picky thing, I often get this from Chinese friends, and sometimes to be honest Western friends that I go out with.

“you should pick the restaurant, because you’re so picky…“
“I can eat ANYTHING, so I’m fine with EVERYTHING”

You realize you shouldn’t be eating just ANYTHING right?, not everything is good for you.

Besides, we’re not living in the middle ages, or ..the middle of last century in China for that matter…we’re not JUST surviving, you can afford to CHOOSE something that you actually WANT to eat, not just something to put in your belly.

That’s something that really annoys me.

Yes, in fact I CAN technically eat doufu (toufu), and I can technically eat organs, and I can technically eat meat that is 90% fat, but I don’t WANT to. I don’t like the taste, and more than that, when there are other things on offer that taste much better, that are more healthy for you, especially when I’m going to be paying for it (this is not some kind of dare or something)….then I’d rather eat those things that I actually WANT to eat.

Do you even know why people eat toufu?   Its because back when however long ago it was, when people didn’t have enough money to buy meat…with all the necessary proteins in it, they found that the beans that is used to make toufu has a high degree of protein, …it doesn’t really taste like anything, but at least it was better than not eating anything and not getting this protein.

Now that we’re in a situation that we don’t HAVE to eat a bland substitute for meat, my preference at least….is that I will not CHOOSE to do so.  I’ll stick with the meat thank you very much.

Organs is another thing.  Back in the days when again, you were eating all the scraps of the meat, all the scraps of everything because there was so little food….yeah, that makes sense… but now, given the fact that I have a choice in the matter, especially given the fact that I don’t think it tastes very nice or has a strange texture….i’m going to choose to eat something different.

What amazes me is that the Chinese word for organs is 内脏 (nei zang) .
It literally means ‘Inner/ inside   Dirty’.
Isn’t that already a pretty strong clue that you shouldn’t be eating it??

In many Western countries this is considered garbage. We just scoop it out and put it in the bin.

How is it that people have the audacity to say… ‘oh you’re being picky’ ??

Or ‘you’re so picky’

Because I don’t want to eat varying degrees of shit?

Errr…. First of all… that’s idiotic.

Picky of course has the connotation of something bad, but I think the word that is more appropriate is ‘selective’.

I am selective in what I want, in the fact that I actually know to some degree what I want to eat, and what I want to do.  And moreover I don’t see that as a bad thing whatsoever.
And so I find it illogical that other people do.

Imagine- would you like to eat garbage item no. 1, garbage item no. 2, or this steak over here with green beans and mash potato?

I don’t think I’m really being unfair, lets take an example of what garbage item no. 1 & garbage item no. 2 might be.   We’re not even going to go into the obvious Chicken feet, and duck face, or ‘young boy pee egg’  – yes that is a real thing.

  1. 回锅肉 – (hui guo rou) literally ‘again pot meat’, or twice cooked pork.

How is this dish cooked?   I’m not making this up, I did a cooking class in Sichuan with my family, and this is how it went- take some pork which is anywhere between 50% & 70% fat, cut it up into thin slices, cut some leeks (green shit) into inch size pieces, green pepper the same, get some chilli powder ready, as well as your trusty MSG & salt, and then put a ‘generous’ serving of oil into the wok….

Yes you would think… hey but the pork is 50% fat, surely I don’t need oil.  Yes that’s exactly what my dad thought.. which is why he tried to teach the Chinese teacher how to cook a more healthy dish after she showed him her version of ‘Oil is good’

Wack the oil in, put the overly fatty pork in, stir still its turned grey…(not crisp or brown), add the vegetables in, then just chuck in the spices, and MSG and all the other stuff.

And serve.

What does it taste like?  That taste is not so bad.. but you’re essentially eating oil. , so in the same way that French fries taste pretty good… it is essentially oil.
So for health reasons… and the fact that while Chinese bodies may have the genes that process copious amounts of oil, my simple Western body does not.

Recipe for 回锅肉 twice cooked pork
This recipe has been toned down, to make it seems less unhealthy, but trust me the real Sichuan version is not good for you)

  1. 土匪鸭饭 (tu fei ya fan)- literally ‘Bandit duck rice’

It just duck cut up…wait, sorry, I don’t mean cut up nicely, I mean the duck has been smashed up with the clever, so that its got loads of jagged bones in it, served with spices especially something called ‘麻‘ basically being a spice that makes your tongue go numb.  And then some beans thrown in, some remnants of bones, and then served over rice.

(that’s what I ordered today by the way. I read ‘duck’ & over rice and thought …well I don’t know what ‘bandit’ translates to in terms of food… but I’ll try.)

Not all pain is gain.

Here are some others just in case the above made you hungry:

夫妻肺片 fu qi fei pian (popular Sichuan dish made of thinly sliced beef and beef offal)

爆炒肝尖 – bao chao gan jian (quick fried liver)

毛血旺- mao xue wang (duck’s blood, beef and tripe [stomach lining] in spicy soup)

酸辣汤 – suan la tang (vinegar pepper soup)  To be honest I’e never had this, or perhaps I purposefully wiped it from my memory, because a friend says he’s never met a foreigner that liked it.

 

Also being ‘picky’ or selective is never a bad thing when it comes to other things not involving food, so why do people get so anal when it comes to food?

Why don’t you take the garbage man job?
Err… because I’ve got a degree in Engineering, and given the choice I think I’d rather hold out for an engineering job.
But that garbage man job is a job, why don’t you just have a try at that, you may like it.
Again, I think I’m capable of making my own decisions, and given those choices…I think I’ll take the engineering job.

This person is clearly selective, not picky. Why is this so difficult to understand?

Wait, wait, wait…. I think I’ve got it, maybe people just don’t have the vocabulary.

Maybe that’s it, because they can’t all be illogical idiots right?

 

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