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Archived Observation

This evening, I watched one of the most absurd ads that I have ever seen in my life. McDonalds is now offering a breakfast bagel. Ok, that in itself is not so crazy… but the toppings are the most amusing thing that I have seen in ages. McDonalds is currently offering three different types of bagels:

  • Steak with cheese and egg

  • Ham and cheese with egg

  • Western Omelette (ham, onion, pepper) with egg and cheese

Why do I find this so absurd? Well, Bagels are considered a Jewish foodstuff. There are certain Jewish laws called kashruth, known by English-speakers as Kosher. You see, Jews are not supposed to eat pork (which eliminates the Western Omelet and the Ham bagels) or have Meat (steak) and Cheese (milk) in the same meal. Which means that this ostensibly Jewish breakfast is completely inedible by a practising Jew.

Now, I know that bagels are now just considered a common foodstuff… not relegated to Jews and New Yorkers anymore. But come on… it's as sacreligious as a Corned Beef sandwich on white bread with lettuce, tomato and mayo.

I have observed that Americans don't really care if they co-opt other cultures' foods. I guess it stopped a hundred years ago with Americans making Chop Suey… a food never conceived of by the Chinese. Now, a Mexican staple, burritos, are being filled with all sorts of non-Mexican crap and being passed off as World Wraps.

The interesting thing is that we've half-assedly modified every traditional food of another culture to the point that when people go to an ethnic restaurant, they get disappointed when the real version of the dish doesn't live up to the TGI Friday's version of it. How many people walk into their first Japanese Restaurant and order the Chicken Teriyaki, just to find that it doesn't taste anything like the Chicken Teriyaki that they got last weekend at Chili's. Hell, I've heard people at a real Mexican restaurant send back real margaritas (2 parts tequila, 1 part Triple Sec, 1 part fresh lime juice) asking for one of those real margaritas… you know the kind… those alcoholic slushies.

I really wish that America had a national dish that some other culture could pervert. Then maybe they'll understand what every native Nihon-jin feels when the're offered a Teriyaki Chicken Wrap.

Posted in Observations.

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