Sunday, November 28, 2010

Where Western beats Chinese

The proper way to start the day

Yesterday I realized that I was contradicting myself with my Food Journey post where I stated that I nowadays prefer Asian food to western. This is only partly true, because when it comes to the most important meal of the day, my taste buds till have a 100% preference for western stuff. Yes, of course I’m talking about breakfast.

I’m big on breakfast, have been as long as I can remember. When we travel, sometimes I wanna stay at real nice hotels simply so that I can enjoy their breakfast the next morning. And my best date is definitely a big, romantic brekkie, rather than a three-course dinner.

In China it wasn’t that easy at first to find all the gods for a heavenly morning moment, but now I’m quite settled with a coffee machine, brewed coffee from IKEA, soymilk, natural (non-fat, non-sugar) yoghurt, oats and fruits. Ahhh… heaven. Beats a Chinese bowl of noodles or rice porridge (yuk!) every single day.

My dad has been entertained by my breakfast obsession for some years now, because the first thing I do when I come home for a holiday (normally quite late on a Friday night if I fly directly from Shanghai) is to run to the fridge and check out what there is that I can have for breakfast the next morning. I always end up standing there for my while, head in the fridge, ohhing and aaahhing over the fact that they have at least two different kinds of yoghurts (and sourmilk!) and three different kinds of cheeses. Not to mention that you can drink the tap water? They don't know how lucky they are.

On special occasions back in Suzhou we used to make scones...
...and pancakes. But not any longer (at least not the scones) because now we don't have any oven.
But oats, yoghurt, blueberries and dragonfruit aren't that bad either!
Chinese breakfast at a hotel in Yunnan. Neither me nor mom managed that bowl of noodles at 7am...


Anonymous said...

I think it is very easy to be arbitrary when speaking of the whole Chinese group, as you are speaking 1.3 billion of food eating customs.

For instance, I was raised in a typical commen chinese family and I never was fed with any poridge for breakfast, but milk and bread most of time.

It really depends on the household's preferences. I know some hotels in china provide steam buns and poridge and the main reason is because it is cheaper or easier than providing fresh milk and bread.

Jonna Wibelius said...

anonymous -I've travelled for a bit in China and never have I come across a Chinese hotel serving me coffee, milk and bread. Then again, I haven't been everywhere. Point that I was trying to make: I prefer a typical western (sorry, a typical Nordic) brekkie to a Chinese one. That's basically what I wanted to say.

Telemachus said...

I was recently in Hong Kong and it seems that many small restaurants have a standard breakfast of ramen noodles with a choice of broth (soup) and toppings, 2 slices of really white bread, a large egg (over easy), and a strong, sweet cup of coffee. Both my daughter and I were intrigued by that East/West combo.

George said...

The first time i drank coffee, i was about 9 years old, the gift set Nestle Coffee sunddenly became very popular in China at that time, oh god knows how I loved it, once I invited all my cousins back to my home having a party while my parents away, we finished a whole big bottle of the instant coffee powder, and my old cousin sister was complainging that she couldn't sleep.

Because my parents always wanted me to become self-sufficient and independent, they saw too many spoiled "little emperor", or they might just has been lazy >.<, they asked me to cook breakfast for them when i was about 10, so i made coffed for us every morning, mixed it with a lot surgar and coffeemate, in a HUGE Chinese rice bowl, we loved it, haha

Don Tai said...

Breakfast in China varies. In the north there is youtiao (deep fried long sticks) and doujiang, boiled eggs, fried eggs and mantou. In the south and in Hong Kong there is zhou (rice porridge) topped with whatever type of meat and veggies you can imagine. Breakfast in China can be amazing but must be fresh.