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Home>Articles>A Bite of China
English

快餐,鸡翅和筷子?

中英对照版 2019年第4期 约瑟夫· G. 克瑞斯基 2019-11-26

美国是手指食物以及快餐业的家园,这一点众人皆知。快餐通常就是手指食物。手指食物就是那些我们可以用手拿起并迅速吃掉的食物,比如说:汉堡、热狗、墨西哥玉米卷、法式炸薯条、披萨,这一类食物不胜枚举 & &虽然我认为中国的饮食文化更加有趣、更具多样性,但中美两国人民都热爱美食。

美国食物到底是什么?美国是一个由移民组成的国家,我们的很多食物都是移民从另一个地方或另一种文化中带过来的,美国人通常把吃东西看作是一个补充能量的机会,就好比在加油站停车加油。那么,为什么这篇文章的标题还提到了筷子这个词呢? 

在过去的十五年中,我学会了使用筷子以及欣赏使用筷子的艺术。我的中国朋友们有时会对我使用筷子的技艺加以称赞。作为一名西方人,也就是中国人眼中的“外国人”,我认为这是非常高的评价。是的,我觉得我用起筷子来可谓得心应手。如果使用筷子这项技能也能有托福成绩,那我肯定能拿101分!

我喜欢用筷子吃刚出锅的油炸花生米,这是一项挑战,单凭筷子夹起碗里高高堆起的花生米,一次只夹一颗! 顺带说一句,如果花生米零食再配上一瓶冰镇啤酒,那么这项挑战就好办多了。这是我本人的经验之谈。在美国,人们会用筷子吃花生吗?绝不可能,大多数美国人会从盛花生的碗里用手抓一把出来直接吃。

我还喜欢看那些特别擅长使用筷子的中国朋友们吃各种各样的食物、点心、蛋糕等甜点。他们像工程师一样,计算食物的精确尺寸和大小,以便在把食物夹起送到嘴边时达到完美的平衡。毕竟在工程中,重量分布和平衡是需要考虑的重要因素。

如果筷子入选奥运会比赛项目,那么中国人一定是金牌的不二归属! 

我生性好奇,所以对筷子的起源做了一些研究。据记载,中国最早使用筷子是在大约九千年前的新石器时代。那时候筷子用来烹饪、搅拌,从一锅沸水或滚油中夹起食物也需要用到筷子。最初的筷子并非用作餐具。有记载表明,筷子最早作为餐具使用是在汉代,但直到明朝筷子才开始普遍用于上菜和吃饭。也正是在明朝,这种餐具才得名“筷子”,也被赋予了现在的形态。

筷子,快,快速,快餐 & &想到这里我便觉得肚子咕咕叫。不管有没有筷子,是时候来点小吃了。  

鸡翅是全世界最受欢迎的小吃与快餐,这种食物最早是在我的家乡美国纽约布法罗制作发明的!所以如果你去纽约或加拿大多伦多旅游,你会去领略尼亚加拉瀑布的美景;如果你来到我的家乡布法罗,一定要吃上一些美味的布法罗鸡翅,不管有没有筷子!

慢慢吃!

Fast Food, Finger Foods Chicken Wings and Chopsticks?

Chinese-English No.4 2019 Joseph G. Krenitsky2019-11-26

The USA is  the land of Finger Foods and the Home of the Fast Food industry as we know it. Fast foods are often finger foods, things we can pick up with our fingers and eat quickly with our hands. Hamburgers; Hot Dogs; Tacos; French Fries; Pizza; the list goes on and on and on Both American and Chinese people love to eat although I believe the food culture of China is far more interesting and diverse.

What exactly is American Food anyway ? We are a country made of immigrants and much of our food is borrowed from or comes from another place and another culture. Americans often view eating or getting food as an opportunity to re-fuel. Like a stop at the gas station for your car. So why does the title of this article include the word chopsticks ? 

Over the past 15 years I have learned how to use and appreciate the art of handling chopsticks. Friends in China will sometimes compliment me on my use of chopsticks or “kuai zi”. As a westerner or “waiguoren” I consider this to be a very high compliment and yes I think that I am pretty proficient with the use of chopsticks. If there was a TOEFL score for chopstick use, I think my score would be 101 !    

I love the challenge of using chopsticks to eat a fresh batch of fried peanuts or a bowl of “ huashengmi” using my chopsticks to reduce the overflowing bowl, one peanut at a time ! This challenge by the way is best handled if the snack “huashengmi” is accompanied with a cold bottle of beer. This finding is based on my personal research. In the USA would a westerner use chopsticks to eat peanuts?  No way, most Americans will eat peanuts by the handful, straight from the serving bowl.

I also enjoy watching Chinese friends who are especially proficient with the use of “kuai zi” eat all kinds of foods, snacks, cakes and even desserts. They calculate like an engineer the exact dimension and size of the item to achieve the right balance as they raise it aloft to their mouth. After all in engineering, weight distribution and balance are important factors to consider. 

If “kuai zi” was an Olympic event the Chinese for sure would be Gold Medal favorites !

I am by nature, a curious person so I did some research on the origins of Chopsticks. It seems the first recorded use of chopsticks was during the Neolithic period of China about 9000 years ago. They were used for cooking stirring and grabbing bits of food from a pot of boiling water or oil. Originally they were not used as eating utensils. Some records indicate that chopsticks were first used as eating utensils during the Han Dynasty but it was during the Ming Dynasty that chopsticks came into normal use for both serving and eating food. It was also during the Ming Dynasty that they acquired the name “kuai zi” and also were given the present shape. 

Kuai zi; kuai; quickly; fast foods Hm I am getting hungry, time for a snack “xiao chi” with or without my kuai zi. 

By the way, Chicken Wings a favorite world-wide snack or fast food, were first prepared and invented right here in my hometown of Buffalo, New York USA ! So if you travel to New York or Toronto Canada and you take a trip to visit the Falls of Niagara; be sure to stop by my hometown of Buffalo and eat some delicious Buffalo Wings, with or without your kuai zi !

Man man chi !   

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