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What We Are Still Getting Wrong About Chinese Food (Výběr taneční podložky)

freeamfva, Úterý, 18. leden 2022, 04:17 (před 120 dny)

What We Are Still Getting Wrong About Chinese Food


Chances are you've heard of chili crisp, the Chinese condiment that exploded into American home kitchens when pandemic-weary cooks were looking for new ways to add flavor to their food. My all-natural Sichuan Chili Crisp is what put my condiment company Fly by Jing on the map, but my ambitions for the brand have always been greater: To shine light on this 5,000-year-old culinary heritage, and rewrite false narratives about Chinese food that have existed for centuries in the West. If the goal is to shift culture, then Fly By Jing's vehicle for change is flavor. To get more news about special dishes of china, you can visit shine news official website.

It was flavor that brought me back to my hometown, Chengdu. I spent most of my childhood moving across Europe and Canada, but one thing that remained consistent was the understanding that my family and I were different. In an attempt to blend in as a kid, I adopted the name Jenny, which stuck for most of my life, until last year when I finally found the conviction to reclaim my birth name, Jing.
When I moved to China for a tech job in my twenties, I was swept up in the food and flavors of my native country. Food became the primary path for reconnection with my Chinese roots, and the more I uncovered the rich layers of China's diverse regional cuisines, the more I learned about myself. I quit my high-flying job in tech and threw myself into the study of regional Chinese cuisines and flavor profiles, eventually opening a restaurant called Baoism in Shanghai, and an underground supper club called Fly By Jing, inspired by the flavors of Chengdu's "fly restaurants"—small eateries so good they attract people like flies. I wasn't just reconnecting with myself, but with family—like my grandparents, who I stayed with while developing the first iterations of the chili sauces and condiments that I would later bring to the US.

Chinese food sits at curious intersections in the West. It is both completely ubiquitous and exotified beyond recognition. It's expected to fit into everyone's individual ideals of "authenticity," formed by vastly differing experiences from person to person. Invariably, it has to be cheap.

This pursuit of "authenticity" by the Western gaze has created a false ownership over the narrative of what Chinese food is and isn't, and in turn, extending to what Chinese culture—and, importantly, its people—can and cannot be. In my journey to building the first premium, all-natural Chinese food brand in the US, I've met resistance every step of the way, in the form of everything from unconscious biases to rampant prejudices, and I feel it's worth breaking down just how we arrived at some of these commonly-held beliefs. The following is a closer examination of just a few things we're still getting wrong about Chinese food.
When I first visited Expo West, the largest natural food expo in the US, back in 2018, I was shocked to see little to no Chinese flavors present. How could it be, I thought, when this food was so popular across the country? For context, there are more Chinese restaurants in the United States than every single McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell, and Starbucks combined. It seemed to me that rather than a Big Mac, the most quintessentially "American" food in America might just be a bowl of chow mein or orange chicken.

That same year, I launched our best-selling hot sauce Sichuan Chili Crisp on Kickstarter, where it broke records as one of the highest-funded craft food projects ever on the platform. Clearly there was an appetite for high-quality Chinese flavors unadulterated by artificial additives and preservatives.Despite that success, I quickly realized that others did not agree. As I worked to get Fly By Jing off the ground as a boot-strapped founder, I met many investors (many of them white) who dismissed my early traction as a fluke, saying "Chinese food is niche, it will never cross over to the mainstream." Meanwhile, New York Times recipes with eyebrow-raising titles like "The Dish That Will Make You Fall in Love With Chinese Food" implied that the majority of people did not find Chinese food appealing.
I was forced to build the company without any outside funding, but being capital-constrained forced me to be creative with resources.We went on to grow 1000% in our second year as a direct-to-consumer online brand, became the top-selling hot sauce on Amazon, and are about to launch in brick and mortar stores at Whole Foods, Target, Costco and more. Despite what those investors might have thought, these days, it's hard to flip through any leading food magazine without finding a recipe that calls for chili crisp, and I have a feeling this won't change anytime soon.

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