by ETHEL NAVALES
Chow mein. Pork buns. Dumplings. Fried rice. Eggrolls. Adobo. Hungry yet?
This is just a small sample of all the Asian food that I grew up with and deeply love. However, as a child, despite how often I ate Asian food (everyday) and how much I enjoyed Asian food (I wanted it everyday), you’d be hard-pressed to ever find rice and tocino in my lunch pail. Instead, my Hello Kitty lunch pail was home to PB&J sandwiches, go-gurts and of course, lunchables.
Early on, I learned to associate my beloved Asian food with home and (as 11-year-old Eddie Huang says in Fresh off the Boat after making the mistake of bringing noodles for lunch) I associated “white people food” with school.
This is probably why I laughed out loud to the Domics short animation “Asian Food.” The animator of Domics very humorously (and accurately) describes the struggle of bringing Asian food to school for lunch around non-Asian classmates.
With our grade school lunch days long behind us, it’s easy to laugh this situation off as children being children. But who am I kidding? We’ve seen adults overreact to Asian food too. Admittedly, many of our delicious dishes (like blood sausages and century eggs) look absolutely horrifying to people who are unfamiliar. But like the other kids in this animation, they just don’t know what they’re missing.
Now excuse me while I go get my hands on some sweet corn.
Originally published on Audrey Magazine