The appropriation of the chicken wing.
PRAGUE, Czech Republic- So all cultures have foods that they are proud of — foods that they claim as their own, foods that define them. And we, collectively, tend to get rather bent out of shape when we go to another land and see people who are not of our culture, who are not one of us, belittling and abusing our culinary traditions with perniciously inferior poser versions. Zac, the Syrian musician I’m currently shooting a documentary about, loses it when seeing people in bumfuck Maine making a mockery of Middle Eastern food. While I lose it when seeing people in far off places defiling the chicken wing.
I’m from Western New York — home of the Buffalo wing, beef on weck, and garbage plates. We drink Labatt Blue beer and tailgate for days before football games. That’s what we got.
So when my wife saw a sign that said 50% off chicken wings at a British pub in Prague 2 we thought we’d try it.
While I do not expect WNY quality wings, I was expecting some degree of edibility. I didn’t get this. The wings were puny, as though taken from a prepubescent chick. They were grizzled rather than fried. The sauce was something from a bottle than some bozo apparently bought earlier that day from the supermarket. The taste was something between a salt lick and sun dried roadkill. It was offensive.
I laughed. This must be how Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Turkish, and Chinese people must feel everyday when traveling through a world that has so readily appropriated and manipulated and cheapened their culinary traditions to suit local palates that don’t know the difference.
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3679 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Papa Bay, Hawaii
June 14, 2019, 5:50 pm
you’re spot on again
how come indian food in India dt taste like indian food in England??
i was in Niagara USA back in 1992. we had KELLY’S HOT WINGS.
June 15, 2019, 8:27 pm
I grew up in
Southern Maine and live in California. I don’t eat lobster west or south of the Maine/New Hampshire line. Don’t do it!