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What Western food do you miss in China?
July 25, 2011
9:48 am
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Crystal
China / Israel
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Yesterday we were in Shangri-la (Yunnan province).

Eugene's family (Eugene's mother, his sister with husband and their children) went to have a dinner in the local Italian restaurant. They were extremely excited to eat spaghetti and pizza after 2 weeks of dining on Chinese cuisine.

Naturally, we talked about the food they liked and disliked and what kind of food they miss most.

Ilana - Eugene's sister - said:

"You can't imagine how much I miss a simple salad. Just fresh vegetables, not fried in oil and not boiled. First thing I am going to cook when I get back to Washington is simply to cut cucumbers and tomatoes."

And what kind of food do you miss while in China?

July 25, 2011
10:09 am
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WanderingAmerican
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I would agree with the salad thing. It seems like so much of the Chinese cuisine is fried or super salty. Maybe that's just me. But I miss black-eyed peas with rice, collard greens, pulled pork, scalloped potatoes, grilled hamburgers, frogmore stew, crawfish, authentic southern bbq, cajun gumbo, mashed potatoes, buttermilk biscuits, pecan pie, yams, oysters, rice and okra, smokehouse sausage, sweet tea, broiled catfish, butter beans, cornbread and boiled peanuts among other things.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Mmmm! 

 

Cool

"Ally" is my girl if you didn't know.

July 25, 2011
10:19 am
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ZhuBaJie
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Each of my recent trips to China I haven't been there long enough (two weeks each time) to really miss much Western food, as I really like Chinese food. But I would miss fresh salads as well if I had to go without them indefinitely. Pizza probably also. 

 

What amazes me now in China is the variety of foods available compared to when I went there back in the late 80s. Even in Beijing at that time, especially in winter, there was very little to choose from. At that time I was there longer (several months) and did find myself missing salty things like potato chips. Once a week or so I'd steal away to the Friendship Store (anyone remember that, and that only foreigners were allowed in?) and buy some potato chips (crisps to you Brits, I thnk). That and some cookies; China didn't have cookies then, either...Yell

July 25, 2011
12:41 pm
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Elijah
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Yeah, I missed proper snacks like chips and dip or nachos with cheese or even fresh (SAFE) vegetables cut up (with dip if possible) or barbeque peanuts (not just salted).

 

As for actual food, there's a wide array. Lasagna, Shepherd's Pie (here's a link to my own homemade recipe), proper Pizza (not the -beep- that is Pizza Hut with corn and peas and other -beep-), simple garden, Caesar, Mediterranean salads, proper breads and cookies and cakes and buns, properly Grilled steaks with mushroom gravy, poutine (Canada's gift to the World), braised ribs, etc. etc.

 

Things I could do without are: oily everything, spicy everything, MSG everything, entire animals (fish with heads, shrimp with head and shell, etc.) cake that tastes like more chemicals than a BP spill (ZING! too soon?), unsafe cooking ingredients (ie: EVERYTHING), bones in food you're not expecting it in (soups, sweet and sour pork, etc.) "desserts" that are truly awful (pea flavoured Popsicles, red bean buns, moon-cakes, etc.)

 

That being said, Canney's mum makes THE ABSOLUTE BEST dumplings and vinegar, fried beef with potato slices, Taiwanese noodles and beef balls EVER!!!!! 

 

The opposite side of the coin for this question, would be what foods would chinese people miss after living in "Western" countries? I'll ask Canney. 

 

Hear that? 

 

It's the sound of a thousand guilty laughs......

July 25, 2011
6:44 pm
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Crystal
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Elijah said:

The opposite side of the coin for this question, would be what foods would chinese people miss after living in "Western" countries? 

For me it's first of all Hot-Pot!!

But this is just because I am from Chongqing...

...

Fresh vegetables I learned to like abroad.

And also tomato juice.

I was so surprised when on the plane to Israel (two years ago) my neighbor asked for tomato juice.

However, two weeks ago on my flight to Beijing I ordered it myself Laugh

July 25, 2011
9:07 pm
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WanderingAmerican
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Crystal said:

I was so surprised when on the plane to Israel (two years ago) my neighbor asked for tomato juice.

However, two weeks ago on my flight to Beijing I ordered it myself Laugh

 

ewwwwwwwwwwww Yell

"Ally" is my girl if you didn't know.

July 25, 2011
11:41 pm
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GentleGiant
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I miss a decent cheddar cheese; in fact I miss a lot of decent dairy products; I also miss being able to buy a bottle of cider for less than £4 !!!

July 26, 2011
12:07 am
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Louisa
California
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The last time I was in Shanghai I would've killed for falafel. Or a good kabob.

 

Although when my parents and I went to Brazil for vacation, we all ended up really missing congee. They had sneaked some pickled radishes in their suitcase. It was funny.

 

And tomato juice is the bomb man.

July 27, 2011
6:45 pm
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John
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I miss basic foods, such as good bread,  When I return to UK I usually have a day eating almost nothing but cheese, another day for chocolate.  Bread goes without saying of course, and also any kind of pie - steak and kidney or chicken, or apple and/or rhubarb.  Even frozen from Iceland is good, as are sausages! Smile

August 3, 2011
7:06 am
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Soldano
Paris
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I miss basic ingredients. You know, when you want to cook a Tiramisu but realise there is no mascarpone, no mozzarella for the lasagna !

You can find subsitutes but it'snever going to match teh original.To begin with, ovens and pastry tools are not very common, so even making a cake is hard !

 

Also, when you're french, any country with the expection of italy is a disapointement when it comes to pastry and desserts.

June 2, 2012
1:32 am
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Leo
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Just what the dcotor ordered, thankity you!

October 16, 2012
6:59 am
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Daniel
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Well, being a western guy who lived in China for 10 years and is married to a Chinese woman, I would say while I was in China, like Elijah, I missed any food not coated in bad oil and tasting like an overdose of MSG. But the thing I probably missed most was a nice barbequed steak or a triple Cheese burger smothered in ketchup, mustard and relish. Not a burger from MacDonald’s – they suck in China just like in America. I mean a burger done at home on the back yard barbecue. 

June 20, 2016
3:53 pm
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luckylaowai
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I am lucky. Within 500 feet of my apartment, there is an American BBQ restaurant (run by an american from Atlanta, so its legit) an Italian restaurant (mediocre by western standards, but good enough) a pizza place, and a bar with over 100 foreign beers available (pricey, but great when Tsingtao just won't do).

What do I miss?

Mountain Dew. I would pay so much for an ice cold Dew its ridiculous.

Mexican food.

American Southern meat and veggies. (I am from the South, so this is home food for me).

That's about it really. Everything else I can find here.

I have lost 80 lbs (35 kg) since I've been here. I am afraid I will gain much of it back this summer at home.

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