“Glad I am no Asian!”

January 30, 2007 at 8:29 am | Posted in Food, Globalization | Leave a comment
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Camembert CheesePlease excuse my brief reiteration of cultural stereotypes… I just wondered whether Asians, far East Asians that is, are really not able to digest cheese or whether this was just a global legend (notice the pun? global legend as a neologism combining urban legend and globalization? ha ha!). Because I would never want to be an Asian in my next life if that meant that I would not be able to eat cheese!

There is no image of the cheese that caused my wondering, but it looked a bit like the cheese that I’ve added to this article: a mature specimen of camembert! I love camembert, but if my glands and enzymes were unable to process cheese, then that would probably be the slab that would make me puke! But as things were, it was one of the most delicious bites that I’ve had in a while. It was so moist that it nearly became liquid when I sliced it, due to its 50% of fat in milk solids, and it had the most refined, savoury-sour smell a cheese could have. There are some Europeans, too, who would rather eat the dirt under their toemails than a smelly, mouldy cheese – so how would a Japanese react? Would he feel like I would feel if someone forced me to eat a century egg (argh – see image below)?

Century egg

But I figure this equation is lopsided: The reason why this egg looks so disgusting to me is that its shape and proportions _remind_ me of an egg, and I really like eggs – but this one looks just like an egg that’s off! It looks like a f___ing, rotten, hardboiled zombie egg.

So: If Asians cannot digest milk, then plain Gouda or Edamer cheese, i.e. something not as mouldy looking, would be just as disgusting to them as my camembert. No? Anyone who knows (or who knows an Asian who did NOT grow up in the US or UK and was not exposed to cheese until an age of, say, 18) would you care letting me know? Thx a lot.

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