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.
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.