Recently I was communicating via email with a friend who shall remain nameless (because I just hate namedropping don't you?) and she mentioned chinese food. "What do you think of the food?" she asked. I told her I tried not to think of it because asian food makes me gag. She accused me of being one of those squeamish wimps who can't stand spicy food simply because I didn't like sushi. I pointed out, "that's a fallacy. Sushi in my experience is not spicy."

"It is when you put a lot of soy sauce on it," she responded.

"Soy sauce is not spicy. It's icky."

What about Asian pear salsa?"

"Icky too."

She stuck out her tongue, "You're icky."

"In fact sushi is not even food!" I continued undaunted, "It is dead, tortured and mutilated fish. It feels like liposuction leftovers in the mouth and going down the esophagus."

She said, "how can you hate asian food, when it includes things like broccoli?"

She had me there. Earlier I mentioned I love broccoli. She found this to be a contradiction. She said, "speaking as an Asian who loves broccoli, I agree that Asian food is terrible when prepared in American restaurants. Not sure what that makes me but I wanted to tell you this." Then she gave me a smiley.

This afore-mentioned unmentioned anonymous friend of mine then pointed out that Asia is in fact a very large continent. In saying asian food, I could in fact be referring to oriental food in general, or more specifically Chinese food, Thai Food, middle east Indian food although it's not politically correct to call them indians any longer because of these guys, korean food, or most any style of cuisine not automatically food of spam sucking white trash. However, just as someone who's only been to Taco Bell has never really and truly experienced mexican food in its purest form, american restaurants are unable to do justice to most quisines of the eastern hemisphere. She asked me to narrow my detest down to a particular country. Which culture's cuisine did I find in bad taste? With all that in mind I found the answer to be simple.

"Only American Asian food," I said with little reluctance or trepidation, "because I've always been in America or Canada. I have no other frame of reference."

With that agreement and understanding between us, we passed the subject and moved on to other things, like when was she going to set me up on a blind date with her friend like she promised and what was taking so long? She seemed satisfied I was taking my displeasure out on this hemisphere's interpretation of her ancestry's food. I wasn't aware there was a difference. I hadn't thought about it before.

I can't remember the names of most of the asian dishes I've tried, or specfically from which country allegedly each dish originated, although I do recall the smell, as if most of them tasting as if they had been prepared on the other side of the Pacific Ocean and then shipped over here to my table by boat. In my youth I'd try different aisan food when that was what they put in front of me, or if I wasn't driving and had no control over where we went. I had bad experiences every time. I find American asian food poorly prepared and seasoned, and almost always undercooked. I like my food very dead. Even when I used to eat beef, I liked my burgers and steaks dark and well done."

Broccoli though? Man! Things like broccoli and cheese soup or pasta with broccoli and red pepper or steamed broccoli and hot melted cheese! My favorites. I'm not supposed to have cheese anymore though. Lactose intolerance, and dead cows hate me on a subatomic level. Occasionally though it's worth the stomach ache. Nowadays when I have to go to a chinese food buffet, I look for the broccoli and cauliflower and try to make a meal out of the veggies like that. I avoid sushi like the plague. Too many horror stories of disease. Not worth the risk to me. However, any time someone offers to take me to an American Asian restaurant, I put up only a little resistance, provided they are buying. Because one should always accept free food.


I had a point... Oh.. My point is I think I'd eat anything she told me to eat even and especially if it smelled like sushi. I'm not being too obscure or grotesque am I?

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