Calvin Trillin’s Poem on Chinese Food Proves Unpalatable for Some (by Austin Ramzy)
almost 2 years ago
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"The writer Calvin Trillin’s poem in the April 4 issue of The New Yorker describes, in the voice of an exasperated American foodie, the varieties of Chinese cuisine now available. Some readers found it hard to swallow. Critics of the poem, “Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?,” said it was dismissive of Chinese culture."
"Have they run out of provinces yet? / If they haven’t, we’ve reason to fret. / Long ago, there was just Cantonese. / (Long ago, we were easy to please.) / But then food from Szechuan came our way, / Making Cantonese strictly passé. / Szechuanese was the song that we sung, / Though the ma po could burn through your tongue. / Then when Shanghainese got in the loop / We slurped dumplings whose insides were soup. / Then Hunan, the birth province of Mao, / Came along with its own style of chow. / So we thought we were finished, and then / A new province arrived: Fukien."
I would say an additional problem is that it's also just deeply dumb.
Yeah, that was my thought as well.
Right? "LOL China's a big country and each province has its own cuisine" is not exactly fertile ground for poetry.
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