War on Fat Lost in Translation

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Hong Kong's government has released an earth-shattering report suggesting dim sum (meat wrapped in fried, oil-soaked pastries) should be consumed in moderation. The International Herald Tribune reports that residents are less than thankful for the city's advice:

Practically every Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong has run a banner headline about it across its front page…Longtime dim sum lovers are indignant.

"The government is putting its thumb on every part of citizens' lives, and it shouldn't be telling anyone how dim sum should be served," said Wong Yuen, a retired mechanic and truck driver who says he has eaten dim sum every morning for the last two decades.

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  1. Who would have thought, the Chinese are more indignant about the Ministry of Health than the Americans!

  2. Imagine the U.S. government cautioning us not to eat too much backyard barbeque on Labor Day! It’s my understanding that, in terms of regional pride… Americans might think of Dim Sum as something like the Cantonese equivalent of apple pie or backyard barbeque. To the British, it might be something like the scones, crumpets, etc. that accompany high tea.

    …that’s all in terms of regional pride, that is.

    There must be thousands of varieties of Dim Sum, but it’s all eaten in small portions like so many hors d’oeuvres and with tea. There aren’t as many Cantonese restaurants here in LA, but in the Dim Sum restaruants I’ve been to here, you pick what you want as…

    …Now I know where I’m going for lunch!

    Suffice it to say that Cantonese is one the two great world cuisines, and I think that Dim Sum is among the best that Cantonese cuisine has to offer. I can imagine why government criticizm would upset people. …Now I’m off to defy the Chinese Coummunist Party!

  3. Hi Everybody,

    Just wanted to clarify something I was quoted for at the end of the article:

    It reads:

    He brushed aside the government warnings as he relished his food. “I’ll just keep eating pork,” he said, “the greasy kinds of pork even.

    What I really said was:

    He brushed aside the government warnings as he relished his food. “I’ll just keep eating pork,” he said, “the real fuckin’ greasy kinds of BBQ and roast pork, the old school Chinese shit that tastes really fuckin’ good. Look, I am 86 years old, you goverment pansy-ass bitches. Dr. Ho Yuk-yin, Captain of the Fat Police, can suck me if he thinks he can get me off my miracle diet of dim sum. That shit is keepin’ it real and keepin’ me alive. So, fuck you very much Dr. Ho Yuk-yin.”

    Hope that helps clear up any confusion.

    Best,

    Wong Yuen

  4. Hong Kong’s government has released an earth-shattering report suggesting dim sum (meat wrapped in fried, oil-soaked pastries) should be consumed in moderation.

    Fried pastries filled with meat? In moderation? What will these fanatical nannie-staters think of next?

  5. Given that the average life expectancy in Hong Kong beats the American average by more than 4 years, perhaps the lesson here is that they should send their fried meats to Kansas.

  6. I’ve had dim sum before and liked many of the different items… except for the chicken feet.

  7. Given that the average life expectancy in Hong Kong beats the American average by more than 4 years, perhaps the lesson here is that they should send their fried meats to Kansas.

    You know why? Because the infant mortality rate in Hong Kong is half of what it is in the US. So unless they’re feeding their babies dim sum, I wouldn’t start touting it’s health benefits yet.

  8. One of the best meals I can recall(several meals, actually) was in a Dim Sum place in Brooklyn. I can’t tell you the name, because it was written in Chinese, and none of the wait staff spoke English. That was my first Dim Sum experience, and it was sublime.

    As for the nannies’ condemnation-not much really needs to be said, does it? I just wanted the chance to rave about that dim sum place…whatever the hell it was called.

  9. You know why? Because the infant mortality rate in Hong Kong is half of what it is in the US.

    Maybe that’s because of the healthy dim sum-fed mothers.

    Couldn’t resist.

  10. Imagine the U.S. government cautioning us not to eat too much backyard barbeque on Labor Day!

    I can easily imagine this. We’re already not allowed to set off fireworks on July 4.

  11. “I can easily imagine this. We’re already not allowed to set off fireworks on July 4.”

    Yes, but doesn’t that piss you off?

  12. The next thing you know they will have some silly rainbow triangle with a stick figure jumping over a dumpling rolling down the side. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  13. Yes, but doesn’t that piss you off?

    Aye.

  14. Imagine the U.S. government cautioning us not to eat too much backyard barbeque on Labor Day!

    Yeah, next thing you know the government will start telling us how many servings of this and how many servings of that we should eat in a day and they’ll put it in a little chart in case we can’t read or something, maybe a little pyramid, and they’ll call it the Food Pyramid.

    Wait a minute…

    In any case I propose that as an act of sympathetic civil disobedience we all go out for Chinese and order potstickers. It’s a tough sacrifice but it is the least we can do for our brethren in Hong Kong.

  15. My excellent, hand-holding friend, Waki Paki, assures me a regular item on the menu of gay Chinese restaurants is Sum Gay Gai.

    He, being a banker, also assures me that your recourse, when denied a loan, is Won Lump Sum.

    Sayonara.

  16. For the record, dim sum is not simply “meat wrapped in fried, oil-soaked pastries”. Bradsher is right when he says it’s often steamed, but pastry suggests
    baked foods made with dough consisting primarily of flour, water, and shortening that is baked, like pies. Hardly any dim sum is made that way.

  17. For the purpose of describing why the government would suggest moderate consumption, describing dim sum as “meat wrapped in fried, oil-soaked pastries” is probably appropriate.

    I agree, however, that for purely descriptive purposes, referring to dim sum as “meat wrapped in fried, oil soaked pastries” is like refering to refering to opera as “singing” or to Monica Bellucci as “female”–it just doesn’t communicate the…

    …But for the purpose of communicating the idea that dim sum may not be good for you, “meat wrapped in fried, oil soaked pastries” is helpful, no?

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