I literally do not understand white people’s need to talk about authenticity of other people’s food.
Do you know when you’re shitting on ~fake~ ‘ethnic’ food, you are shitting on food created by people of color in this country? It’s not like a secret white man sitting in the back of the kitchen yelling at Chinese people to defrost that sweet and sour sauce faster.
Like I’m glad that making and selling food that follows more of some of the “Chinese” culinary heritages than the “Chinese American” heritage is becoming more economically viable for some Chinese people (and, lbr, more white chefs starting ‘fusion’ restaurants), but it also definitely seems racist to me how white people can fawn over ~authenticity~. It definitely seems racist to me how dim sum and then banh mi and then whatever it is now (Korean BBQ?) passes through the hands of white people like the artifacts of the colonized, to be admired and cooed over and consumed. To be preserved into a museum because the cultures of color are not living things enacted by living people who contradict each other and themselves, but historical oddities.
You know what is authentic? A Korean man bringing his wife and his parents to the United States to raise a family in a country where he believes there are more chances for his children. He studied electrical engineering in Korea but knows that he cannot take time off in the U.S. to finish his education and find an engineering job. Instead, he works twenty years in a market preparing chop suey and egg rolls and explains how he doesn’t really make friends with his neighbors because he doesn’t think he speaks English well enough. He’s happy his son and daughter are in college and have diverse friends and his son skateboards, but they can’t really understand. He asks me about my parents and where they are from (Hong Kong) and he says, “Go ask your mother and your father.”
I got all this from a twenty-minute conversation. And it’s already more real than your white asses trying to pretend to culture because your ancestors spent enough time stomping it out.