3004 廚房

3004 廚房
為保障病人隱私,作者於心理學隨筆內並沒有在未經客戶的同意下,放置任何病患的真實故事,所有包含心理治療的故事內容都已經改編,忌對號入座。另外,本人不能在網上隔空治療,所以本網站並不提供任何形式的心理諮詢服務,如有需要,請到醫院或診所求診,敬請留意。All the psychotherapy stories are written in ways to protect clients' confidentiality and privacy rights. NO real and identifiable clients' stories are shared on this website without their permission. No psychotherapy consultation will be provided on this website. Please do see your local provider for any psychological consultation.

2010年9月18日 星期六

Food and Cultural Adjustment


Emily and Kristen were pointing at the moon pies in Cracker Barrel store. 

Thanks to Kristen, I visited Cracker Barrel the first time after living in Harrisonburg for a year. It was crowded on a Friday evening and customers were mostly Americans. Emily and I were probably the only Chinese in this "authentic Southern American restaurant." Kristen said that a lot of tourists actually go to Cracker Barrel due to its representation of Southern American food.

Kristen ordered the famous chicken and dumplings@ Cracker Barrel

I have seen a lot of southern cooking on food network. In my impression, southern cuisine is fried, greasy, corn bread, biscuits and green beans...etc. Dining in a southern restaurant gave me the firsthand experience. It was not all about fried food. In America, you always have options. I ordered a grilled trout, with a side of cole slaw, biscuit and mushroom brown rice. It was fine but the rice was rather salty. The chef probably put too much salt or seasoning into the brown rice. However, the dining experience was great. Kristen talked a lot about her trip in China and Japan and how she missed American food when she was there. I must say that sometimes when I am Hong Kong, I crave American food too. Most of the time, when I am at home, I just make salads and eat fries out of the blue. This is hard to explain.  The waitress was friendly although I didn't like to be disturbed a couple of times when we were talking. I know that this was part of the cultural dining experience. In Hong Kong, waitress/waiter do not interrupt a lot of times when people are enjoying their food. In many cases, you actually have to ask them to come to your table by waving your hand. However, the system is just different here due to how waiters earn their money.

Lemon pepper seasoned Rainbow Trout with a side of Mushroom Brown Rice (which was considered to be vegetables of the day) 

One of the greatest challenges for me is controlling the amount of food I consume in America. For some reason, I eat more in the U.S. than in Hong Kong. Like a lot of the other Asian international students, I always gain weight when living in this country. When I move back home, I usually lose those weights. How does that happen? Butter, cheese, cookies and alcohol  probably are to blame. In Hong Kong, I rarely eat any of the above. It is also more expensive to buy cheese and we don't really use butter to cook Chinese cuisine. My diet is mainly vegetables, some meat and rice. There are no cookies in my family and it is uncommon to have an oven at home. Now, I really miss dumplings and a couple of the Chinese dishes in Peking restaurant. 


Look at them! They are so delicious. 

Cultural adjustment comes with a price. It can be in the form of anything, like your diet. According to one study, among immigrants who had lived in the U.S. for less than a year, only 8% were obese. In contrast, among those who had lived in the country for 15 years, 19% were obese. Scary enough!  How did immigrants put on that much of weight? Driving all the time without walking too much? Eating fried potatoes regularly as vegetables? Wine and Cheese party? Too much junk food or too much cookies? I guess I have to balance out of my diet, cook more often at home and maintain good workout habits to survive in U.S. without becoming obese. 

12 則留言:

  1. Be--I so enjoy your blog and your adventures!

    回覆刪除
  2. Dezirae N. Brown
    I agree and understand your point of view entirely. Depending on which region of the world one visits or lives the cuisine, behavior in restaurants, and cooking appliances will differ. There are times when ingredients of the cuisine will either be strange or yummy, and healthy or fattening. One's appetite would have to adjust to such a cuisine, especially if it involves ingredients that are not typically eaten within their country. As far as behavior in restaurants within other countries, the way a person would typically eat within their home country tends to be either strange or offensive in another country. For example, in India eating with your right hand is required as the left hand is considered polluted because of its use for personal cleansing after defecation. Overall, the bottom line is o enjoy the food and have fun learning the eating behaviors of other countries.

    回覆刪除
  3. Adam L. White
    I liked the tribute to southern food. I am from North Carolina where that is a lot more common that it is up here, especially in the dining halls at school. Your blog left me longing for some of this food even though it is unhealthy. I also must say I eat different here compared to home but instead of worse I eat better because it is so readily available and the lines are usually shorter at the healthier places.

    回覆刪除
  4. Rachel Gill
    Whenever I have traveled long distances with my grandparents we always stop at a Cracker Barrel along the way. My Grandparents are from Ocean Springs Mississippi so to them this is what home cooking is about. Having traveled so much I find it kind of funny that they always choose to stop to eat at somewhere that reminds them of home instead of trying new foods out wherever they go. When they came to visit us in Germany it was fun to go to restaurants and see them trying the local foods. My Grandpa loved it but my Grandma (even though she liked it too) kept commenting on how they should have seasoned it differently or used a different ingredient to make it better. I think for some people when you grow up with one thing your entire life, trying out different foods can be a shock, but personally I think it is one we should always try to take because even broadening our foods gives us a more open mind to other cultures and their influence on our lives.

    回覆刪除
  5. Before I started at JMU I was warned about the freshman15. People told me that when I get to school I would get so busy, eat so much and in the end turn into the average American statisic. With the way things are going, Im almost afraid that that will come true! Back in South Africa the amount of food I ate was pretty much the same. But what needs to be taken into consideration is that we dont have food that is produced at the vast production rates that we see in America. I tried cutting down on the amounts that I ate, but this has not helped that much either, as i would continue to be hungry and still feel unhealthy. Most people consider the food here to be tastier and much better than food from other places. I beg to differ. Since i landed on american soil the only food I have found true comfort in has been the curry that Iv made, the Ethiopian food at the Blue Nile, and the middle easter food Iv had down town. My final comments? I miss the food of my homeland. Would trade anything to be able to have some right now! And lastly Am under the immpression that if people experianced true indian South African food, they would never want to eat anything else :) -Ruth*

    回覆刪除
  6. Ruth, I would like to try some authentic south African food.

    Rachael, I appreciate your courage in trying out new things! We all need a little bit of courage and the willingness to take risk to tolerate differences and enjoy differences.

    Adam, it is so funny when you say "the lines are shorter in the healthier places". I never pay attention to that. Next time, I am going to check.

    Dezirae, enjoying food is so important and thanks for sharing with us the Indian eating culture.

    Molly, thanks for visiting and your encouraging comment.

    回覆刪除
  7. Food is an important part of every culture. The smells, tastes, colors, and textures are defining aspects of childhood memories and family traditions. Food is like an edible version of globalization. In comparison to the rest of the world, the food culture is new and not particularly well defined. We don't really have a national dish and there are few dishes that could be considered indigenous. However, American culture is distinctly visible in the food. In just about every American city, you can find food from somewhere else in the world. Just the other week, Lisa and I had our first experience with Ethiopian food. The restaurant proudly displayed Ethiopian food and culture so much, there wasn't a fork in the establishment. The food was amazing (you could totally hear the hallelujah on the first bite), but the experience made it extra ordinary. Eating with your hangs is a bit of an adjustment, but it isn't hard, and it obviously didn't deter anyone for eating their share. While these foods are foreign, they are a part of the American food culture. America is a county of immigrants, all of which brought with them their taste of home. While many people don't think of American food being this way, I firmly believe that it is a great big fondu pot of love and deliciousness; and it is about time that we start recognizing these international and regional foods, instead of just the pre-packaged, processed, chane-restraint foods most people think of, as American food.
    -Jacque

    回覆刪除
  8. Let me start out by saying all of the food above looks very delicious! Food is something that brings us together in my family. We love international cuisine and we love trying new food. There still is a lot of American cuisine that I have yet to try. Food, to me, is one of the most important factors when it comes to culture. There are certain foods that I know Europeans eat and Americans don't, such as rabbit. If you prepare it with a nice mustard sauce. Anyways, food among other things make up culture. It must have been an extraordinary experience walking into Cracker Barrel. As you were able to see, there is a lot more to American food than what you see from the highway. I wish that more people were given the opportunity to see that if you go on a "food excursion" of the U.S. they will learn a lot more about our culture than what they see from the outside.
    -Andrew

    回覆刪除
  9. Andrew, believe it or not, some Chinese will eat dog meat (I know it sounds terrible...), rabbit, worms and in some culture, people also eat ostriches and monkeys (Remember that movie-Indianna Jones?). Anyway, we can have a whole class or even course about food and culture. We should definitely consider that!

    回覆刪除
  10. New Diet Taps into Revolutionary Plan to Help Dieters LOSE 20 Pounds in Just 21 Days!

    回覆刪除
  11. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you gotta watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Why your ex will NEVER come back...

    回覆刪除
  12. QUANTUM BINARY SIGNALS

    Professional trading signals sent to your mobile phone every day.

    Start following our signals today and make up to 270% per day.

    回覆刪除

有話要說嗎﹖

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...