I made this comic about the cultural appropriation of food—the tendency of people to easily co-opt “ethnic” cuisine as their own, while simultaneously obsessing over the “authenticity” of food.
I’m writing from the viewpoint of a cranky immigrant, but also as someone who considers bell hooks’ essay “Eating the Other” and Edward Said’s book Orientalism as major touchstones that have informed a lot of my work (and viewpoint). How does this comic read to someone that doesn’t share that same viewpoint? Or background? I think even a lot of my white liberal friends would feel annoyed at me commenting on how they consume something they love (“ethnic” food). I think a lot of my Asian friends would tell me I’m over-thinking it.
It rambles, I know that. But I wrote it, and I want to share it. It’s directly informed by Soleil Ho’s article “Craving the Other“ from the Food issue of Bitch—I’d started this comic before I read it, but once I did, it was several moments of “YES. THIS. EXACTLY THIS” It is a much more focused essay than my comic, and I really recommend you read it.
Shing Yin Khor is a cranky Hufflepuff; you can find her on Twitter @sawdustbear.