…because not all of us have our Peking ducks in a row
Because I’m absolutely lacking in creativity these days, I’m re-posting this piece from September 2011.
We don’t hear a lot about Scotland in China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. I’m sure most people think the same I do when anyone mentions Scotland – tartan, bagpipes, kilts, woolen apparel.
But the other day, while visiting my parents in Taipei, I went to a Costco with them and forced them to purchase a three-pack of Walkers Scottish Traditional Oatcakes, which are supposed to be healthy and free of fats and additives and, therefore, good for you. However, now I’m convinced that Walkers’ Traditional Oatcakes is Scotland’s secret weapon against the Greater China region and world domination.
Walkers are the same people who make those delicious, buttery shortbread and other cakes and cookies. Just looking at the label makes me gain 2lbs, inhaling its aroma another 5lbs and taking a bite, 10lbs.
It’s as if – to offset the incredible artery-clogging and fattening properties of their usual offerings – the Walkers people tried to ease their guilty consciences by creating something that’s completely healthy and absolutely devoid of taste. Imagine, if you will, sucking on a two-by-four, because the American Heart Association deemed it good for you – and you now have an idea of what the Walkers oatcakes taste like.
The fact that the oatcakes are made from a “traditional” Scottish recipe makes me even more convinced it’s a pointed imperialist attack on the Chinese people. In fact, I looked at the US Costco website and failed to find any Walkers products. This tells me that Americans don’t buy that Scottish crap about these oatcakes being good for you, while the Chinese, eager for Western products – will buy the product in droves, regardless of how it tastes.
For the purpose of writing this post, I had eaten another Walkers oatcake and the next thing I knew, my Dad was asking me why there were three boxes of oatcakes in the garbage can, two of them unopened.
I think this is how the Scottish invasion of the China region would take place: after making sure that our senses are thoroughly numbed by the oatcakes we’ve purchased at Costco in bulk, men in tartan will start bombarding us with more oatcakes by lobbing them out of cannons from warships and by dropping them from planes by the sack fulls. Scotland would never run out of ammunition, because the oatcakes are made from recycled cardboard, sawdust, and unsold oatcakes. And this would be a very eco-friendly invasion, as any debris will just wash away with the rain and be absorbed seamlessly into our environment, or be eaten up by small scavenger animals who need a lot of roughage.
I was convinced that Scottish oatcakes was some colossal joke – or a food item that’s unpopular in its native country, and the Scottish government is trying to unload them on unsuspecting Chinese people. So I went online and Googled, “Are oatcakes a Scottish tradition”, and to my dismay they ARE! In fact, the web is filled with people and their happy traditional oatcake recipes.
I’m sure this post is going to generate a lot of Scottish animosity towards me, and this is totally understandable. However, we Chinese have standard, culturally-identifiable dishes, such as thousand-year-old preserved eggs and chicken claws.
We Chinese are also patriotic with a strong sense of identity, but we know most other people might not like to stare at a plateful of steaming hot chicken claws at the dinner table, or peel off the shell of an egg that’s totally black in color with an oozing, greyish-black liquid center where the yolk should be.
So, you Scots keep your oatcakes, please – and we’ll keep our preserved eggs and chicken claws under lock and key … for now….