Sunday, December 6, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Wanting 'one right way' - resisting multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance - AnnArbor.com


Years ago, a friend from Chicago was visiting right around dinnertime, when we decided to make noodles or pasta for dinner. I started boiling the water and rummaging around for some vegetables when he declared, “That’s not how you make pasta!”

I was surprised because my family is northern Chinese and so I have been eating and making noodles all my life. I was speechless when he pushed me aside in my own kitchen and instructed me on How To Make Noodles—by peeling and mincing the garlic just so and drizzling the noodles with olive oil. Years later, I learned that this recipe is called pasta aioli, and is certainly one way of making noodles, but in his mind, it was the only way to make noodles, and I was wrong for wanting to make them any other way. (He thought I was wrong for crushing the garlic with my grandmother’s cleaver, too.)

Soon thereafter, I was at an Italian couple’s home with a group of friends when dinnertime overtook us. Our hosts started making pasta with a simple marinara sauce to feed everybody. All the women gathered around the kitchen, ooohing and ahhhing and watching and learning until someone commented, “You’re such a good cook.” Cici with her long white hair and throaty accent was completely unimpressed, “I am not a good cook, I am just Italian.” (click on link for more)

Wanting 'one right way' - resisting multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance - AnnArbor.com

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