There’s plenty of Chinese food well known to turn the stomach of the average Westerner - stinky tofu, chicken feet, turtle jelly, anyone? Thought not. But what about the other way around? What Western food do Chinese people find gross? Below are some of the most common answers I’ve encountered. It’s also pretty much a list of my favourite things. (Please excuse the sweeping generalizations!)
Source: various brennemans
Most Westerners simply can’t get enough of cheese and, in fact, it’s scarcity in standard Chinese shops is top of their list of complaints. For Chinese people, however, it’s usually top of their list of Western foods they hate. Particularly despised varieties are the stronger ones, including goats cheese and blue cheese. Interestingly, the latter is often compared to stinky tofu, which generally speaking makes Chinese people salivate and Western folks run for the hills.
Source: Static Pixels
Chinese people have pretty much no love for raw food, so the concept of salad is just bizarre to them. Why would you want to chomp your way through a big bowl of raw vegetables if you can afford something else? And, on that note, why is salad so expensive? You can’t argue with the last point, to be fair.
Sashimi and Rare Steak
Continuing with the “raw” theme, sushi and rare steak can also be problematic for Chinese diners. There are plenty of sushi and steaks houses in China’s big cities these days, but unworldly locals would commonly avoid the raw sashimi and order their steak well done. Uncooked food is generally considered to be unhygienic.
Chinese people tend to lean towards skinny McDonald’s style burgers, if they like burgers at all. Huge can-hardly-fit-your-mouth-round-it burgers cross a number of lines. One, they might not be cooked properly in the middle (see above); two, they always fall apart; three, you have to eat them with your hands. Chinese people generally consider using your hands to eat to be disgusting, and many restaurants provide gloves with food that is impervious to chopsticks. China’s street food Hall of Fame also boasts its own“Chinese hamburger”(Rou Jia) for a fraction of the price, so it’s hardly surprising locals are slow to get onboard the big greasy train to Monster Burger Town.
There’s not shortage of pizza in China’s big cities, but there is for sure a shortage of locals who appreciate what a Westerner would consider “authentic Italian”pizza. In China they have a wealth of round, flat, bready things that look like pizza, so most locals are at a loss as to why you’d pay so much more for the Westernized version. Thick bases and crazy toppings that any self-respecting pizza aficionado would balk at are, however, more popular. Pizza Hut, for example, seems to do a roaring trade with off-the-wall creations sporting sausage crusts, crab sticks and even durian. Hurl.
Chinese people are just about getting into milk products these days, but it’s really more for health benefits than a liking of the taste. Cream, therefore, is a step too far for most, especially in savory food. The thought of creamy pasta dishes like Carbonara is pretty gross to the average Chinese pallette. Those who are used to noodles may also find the pasta itself chewy and unappetizing.
The kind of bread you’d find in you’re bog-standard Chinese supermarket is uniformly white, sliced, soft and sweet. Crusty bread, such as a French baguette, therefore is inconceivably hard work. A Chinese bread eater may not find it disgusting as such, but it’s for sure seen as too much effort for not enough payoff.
Source: Open Cage
Lord knows the Chinese are no strangers to spicy food, and there is a fair amount of yellow curry-like dishes in regional cuisines. However, Indian curries are generally not to the liking of the Chinese populous, mainly because of the way they look. Without going into graphic detail, they think the majority of Indian curries look like they belong in a toilet.
And on that note, bon appetit!
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Keywords: Western food Chinese find gross Disgusting Western Food
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Generalizing what Chinese people find gross is not correct for this article. The better focus would be "What Western foods young Chinese enjoy but can rarely afford and what Older Chinese don't like". There are many restaurants in Tier 1 and 2 cities that have these foods. But the comparison of Tier 3+ cities outnumber their luxurious neighbors. It's just they haven't had the experience of trying different tastes in different circumstances. That's similar to food from a northern province and bringing it to the southern regions (or vice versa). If it's not locally produce the product will have more resistance in that market due unfamiliarity.
Jul 14, 2017 13:24 Report Abuse
Curry? ... I know dozens of Chinese that like curry, and that's just in my small circle of associates, over 11 years in China... Depends on the region you're in... I'm also not sure about your 'creamy' pasta take... I think Chinese are learning to 'open up' about food, and not be so quick to put something 'down', just because they don't like it the first time around... I've introduced Italian style instant pasta to many Chinese, and they soon begin to like it... (Real Italians would almost never eat instant pasta, but you know what I mean...) Can I add one more? I've tried to introduce Chinese to European style breakfast cereal, and have totally failed... This cereal is especially popular in Germany and central European countries... It is usually called 'muesli' (in English and German) and has dried coconut, dried banana, dried peach/apricot/nectarine and other stuff blended throughout... It is no doubt eaten by many thousands of Chinese, as ALL the import shops (especially Carrefour) have it... Or maybe only expats buy it, because EVERY Chinese I've ever fed it to, hates it.
Jul 12, 2017 17:52 Report Abuse