Mar 3, 2011

WSJ link: "Why Breakfast Matters for Chinese Tourists"

This was an insightful article in the Wall Street Journal, and is an experience I can relate to. I really enjoy normal Chinese food, but I just love to complain about my distaste for the traditional Chinese breakfast.

From the article:
Being able to get their own kind of food is one of the top concerns for outbound mainland Chinese travelers, a group that is estimated to reach 100 million in 2020 by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. And the issue seems to be an Asia-specific phenomenon. “This is not a concern amongst our American or European customers,” says Mr. Roche.

Taking the cue, top-end hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London, which boasts restaurants from celebrity chefs Daniel Boulud and Heston Blumenthal, offer a full Chinese breakfast of noodles. And guests can choose between chicken or fish congee at the Shangri-La Hotel Paris, should Western alternatives not appeal.
Note that the other sounds like a moron by saying "full Chinese breakfast of noodles". This part makes no sense. There are many components to a Chinese breakfast, as I describe below.

During my travels in China, I get cranky when I have to constantly eat Chinese rice-gruel and plain mantou for breakfast. I understand what the Chinese tourists in the US must be experiencing.

Here's a photo of a garden-variety Chinese breakfast from an old blog post of mine:

From left to right what you see is:
  • steamed mantou
  • cucumbers, I think
  • often-seen fermented red substance, which makes me gag
  • hastily cooked hardboiled eggs, where the shell sticks to the egg when you're trying to peel it
  • tofu-vegetable concoction
  • soft tofu
  • rice gruel
If there were at the very least a pot of coffee, maybe that would mask the taste of the things I'm not a fan of.

If you'd like to read more, breakfast-related comments have been an ongoing theme in my blog:


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