Claire vs. Marc: In My Country, Food Eats YOU!

18 Aug

Can't we all just get along?

Claire: I got free Indian food for dinner tonight!

Marc: Yes! I don’t even really like Indian food but I am fully behind anything free and edible
Claire: what are you talking about? Indian food is the best kind of ethnic foo—OOOOOH. NEXT DEBATE

(Editor’s note: Why do Marc and I always talk about food? Is it because we’re too emotionally stunted to discuss our real feelings? We never talk about our hopes and dreams, our fears or concerns. Why is that? What are we avoiding? Eh, screw it. Feelings are for wimps and communists.)

Marc: Okay.  So.  Here’s my list:

1. Italian

2. Mexican

3. Chinese

it’s. not. even. close.

Claire:

1. Italian

2. Indian

3. French

4. English

5. Japanese

6. Polish

Marc: I don’t know where to begin. First of all it’s 6

Claire: I’m hungry!

Marc: Indian at TWO??? are you MAD woman?

Claire: I LIKE INDIAN

Claire: I really like their goopy sauces

Marc: ‘Goopy’ is an unappetizing word

Claire: half of my meal tonight was made out of cheese and spinach. It was incredible

glorious Indian food

Marc: Fuck, even German is better than Indian. It has meat, beer and potatoes.

Claire: um, false. Germans invented sauerkraut. That’s pickled cabbage, Marc. Pickled cabbage disqualifies you from all debate

Marc: If we’re going to play that game, Indian food produces hostile toilet behavior

Claire: maybe for your lily white intestines

Marc: Not mine. Mine are strong and robust. But people’s

Claire: Yeah…”peoples”

NEIN!!!!

Claire: Is Southern food ethnic? Cause if so, all bets are off

Marc: I think we need to disqualify all stateside food due to bias

Claire: Okay. Fair ‘nuff

Sorry, America

Marc: I don’t know what Polish food is.

Claire: Perogies!

Marc: That’s a food?

Claire: Potato dumplings. Poles also have Polish sausage

Marc: I’ve always equated that with German food

Claire: Just cause they invaded everyone doesn’t mean they get to claim their food

mmm, Polish

Claire: You put Chinese as #3? How is that possible? Chinese food is good, I’ll give you that. But BAD Chinese is the worst type of bad food. It’s greasy and tastes like cat.

Claire: And are we going like, American version of Chinese? Or real Chinese?

Marc: I went to a Chinese restaurant in Florence once

Claire: ……Marc.

Marc: and it was basically the same thing but wayyyyyyyyy better

Claire: MARC.

Marc: and they only spoke Italian and Mandarin

Claire: This is not a helpful argument.

Fortune cookies are authentic Chinese, right?

Marc: I will budge on Chinese. But NOT Italian. It has everything: beverages, sides, main courses, soups, snacks, desserts, sandwiches

Claire: True. Though French is good too.

Marc: I didn’t even think about that because it’s so pretentious

Claire: Cream sauce. Cheese. Croissants. Croissants with cheese inside. Croissants with chocolate inside. Cheese with chocolate inside. Chocolate with cheese inside. Arrogance.

Oui oui!

Claire: Mexican would be a solid finalist but not the winner

Marc: Mexican is a workhorse. It’s nothing fancy but it’s always reliable

Claire: plus it’s just the same five ingredients combined in different ways

Marc: and salsa. It gives us salsa! (you might be able to tell that I’ve given this some thought)

Si si!

Marc: we haven’t even covered Japanese, which, let’s be honest, is just sushi

Claire: which is great.

...I don't speak Japanese

Claire: Greek/Mediterranean, I’m kinda ‘meh’ on

Marc: Mediterranean is really good but lacks variety and can be a pain in the ass to eat. Anything where you have to construct what you eat, after you get your food I’m generally sour on

Claire: Middle Eastern?

Marc: what is that? Hummus?

Claire: I’ve been to Middle Eastern restaurants and I like the food, but I can’t tell the difference between that and Mediterranean, a lot of the time. They all just offer me gyros and falafels

Marc: Gyros are amazing. Also big points for the common use of lamb. I feel like that’s the only area where lamb is a given in choice of meat

Marc: man, they just butcher baby sheep like, all the time. What a bunch of hardasses

this baby lamb is adorable

Claire: I think Middle Eastern = cumin

Marc: THATAIOH)F#@RR

thatswhatshesaid

Claire: You okay there?

Marc: I almost broke my computer.

heh. cumin.

Claire: we’ve ignored the entire continent of Africa

Marc: that’s because the food is terrible.

Claire: I’ve had Ethiopian. You eat it on “bread’ that has the consistency of a wet towel

Marc: (Googles)

This all looks awful

Towel!

Marc: what do Russians eat? Do they have food?

Claire: Russians eat vodka
Marc: And fish eggs

No wonder they drink

Claire: Jewish food?

Marc: that’s just depressing

Fun fact: Bagels are actually Polish

Marc: English food?

Marc: It has some really great highs but mostly terrible lows

Claire: I love English food, actually. But that’s cause I’m pale and bland

I love England

Claire: What about Norwegians?

Marc: the Germans confiscated it

Claire: Ugh.

this is what happened when I Googled "Norwegian food"

Marc: I like Irish food – Potatoes and corned beef

Claire: I don’t like corned beef

Marc: sometimes, Claire, I don’t know how or why we’re friends

Well, at least they got the beer right

Claire: I wish breakfast were an ethnicity.

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17 Responses to “Claire vs. Marc: In My Country, Food Eats YOU!”

  1. Marc August 18, 2010 at 2:54 am #

    For the record, I’m going with this as my top 10:
    1. Italian (landslide winner)
    2. Mexican
    3. German
    4. Chinese
    5. French
    6. Greek/Mediterranean
    7. English
    8. Japanese
    9. Thai
    10. Seafoodlandia

  2. Sean August 18, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    As a total nerd for food in all levels of pretentiousness, I have to comment. There is so much wrong with this article, namely ignoring Thai and Vietnamese entirely (aside from Marc’s throw in at the end). Totally shameful. Both deserve top 5 billing. Also, Spanish. Where’s the Spanish? You can’t just throw the blanket of “Mediterranean” out there and hope it covers it. It’s geographically correct, but there are miles of difference between Greek and Spanish (even if they’re both awesome).

    My general rule for food is possibly racist, but hear me out. The whiter the inhabitants, the worse the food. The UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Russia… all out. It’s all boiled goop and oddly-prepared fish. Give me a country where the people are a nice golden brown and I’ll have myself a happy and full belly. The one caveat is Ethiopian food with consists of many spicy paste-like or gruel-like red to brown things that you mop up with a sour, spongy sponge thing that you’re also supposed to eat. DO NOT WANT. Also, I’m not wild about Indian food. I dig the flavors but the inherent lack of beef is a major flaw in their plan.

  3. Claire August 18, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    I kept meaning to mention Vietnamese, actually. And we did discuss Thai, it’s just that this conversation was edited for clarity/humor/a vague attempt at brevity.

    Also discussed: Jamaican, Cuban, Dutch

    • Sean August 18, 2010 at 3:47 am #

      I’ll partially retract my ire. I understand the need for editing and think you did a good job keeping the funny (especially the Polish vs. German line), but cutting out the awesomeness of SE Asian food in favor of highlighting ENGLISH food? Aside from fish n chips, English food is awful and deserves to be ignored by everyone.

      Also, Marc, I have to point out a fallacy. French food isn’t pretentious. French people might be pretentious, but actual French food is mostly variants of peasant food.

      • Claire August 18, 2010 at 3:52 am #

        I love English food and I don’t know why. I think I’m the only person in the world—including actual English people—who likes English food. Scones? (Which are basically like our biscuits). Digestives? Clotted cream? Sandwiches cut into triangles? Fish and chips? Sticky toffee pudding? Bread pudding? Yorkshire pudding? Beef Wellington? Basically, the English are good at one thing: carbs.

      • Sean August 18, 2010 at 7:24 am #

        I’m pretty sure you’re right that not even the Brits like their own food. That’s why they went all imperialistic- to find better food.
        Thoughts:
        -I can get down on some scones, but I’d pick a biscuit every time if forced to choose.
        -Digestives are only good when covered in chocolate and, let’s face it, that can be said for even the crappiest of foods.
        -Clotted cream is freakin disgusting. I’m gagging just thinking about it.
        -Sandwiches cut into triangles. Uh, CLUB SANDWICH?!?!? Not only way better on taste than a cucumber sandwich or whatever else you’re serving with your afternoon tea, but this also comes with frilly toothpicks. Winner.
        -Fish N Chips. Totally guilty of loving.
        -Sticky Toffee and Bread Puddings. Not necessarily anything wrong with either, but would be hard pressed to even make a list of 50 desserts I love.
        -Yorkshire pudding. Certainly a good contributor to a Sunday roast dinner. Not spectacular on it’s own, but a team player. AKA the Ron Harper of Sunday Roast.
        -Beef Wellington is a culinary abomination. I refuse to cook or eat it.

        The three words that come to mind when thinking of British cuisine are “frumpy”, “heavy” and “antiquated.” Aside from an occasion F&C craving, I can’t say I’ve ever thought, “Hey, let’s go get some English food!” They need a landscape shift. More chefs like Heston Blumenthal, preferably.

    • Marc August 18, 2010 at 4:49 am #

      What Claire said. And English food has another huge factor on its side. Totally awesome breakfasts.

      I have nothing against Thai food, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. Whenever I’ve had it, I like it, but don’t love it. Nothing there excites me, but there is nothing offensive, like with Indian food, which I just don’t care for. I mean, it’s food, I’ll eat it, but I’ll never seek it out of my own accord.

      Your Spanish and French commentary is duly noted and I will go so far as to throw the mythical Seafoodlandia out (I really love seafood) for Spain.

  4. Cara August 18, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    Jew food = challah bread = AMAZING!

    • Marc August 18, 2010 at 4:42 am #

      Jew food = NO BACON. YOU LOSE. GOOD DAY SIR.

      • Cara August 18, 2010 at 5:42 am #

        Bagels and lox! Win!

      • Marc August 18, 2010 at 5:44 am #

        Bagels aren’t Jewish they’re Polish! Loss!

      • Sean August 18, 2010 at 6:54 am #

        There’s no way bagels & lox make up for the loss of all the deliciousness that is pig, not to mention the awesomeness that is the combination of meat and cheese.

  5. Jonathan August 18, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    Even though their food is cockle-warmingly good, I want to be racist toward italians and via the transitive property, culinarily racist as well.

    In any case, no one has thought about and experimented with food more than the French. Followed by the Japanese…though the Japanese concern themselves too often with novelty in lieu of flavor, akin to some people I know who think chocolate cake+red food coloring is so much better than every other cake/pie out there.

    Vietnamese is of interesting note because as a Frog colony, they adopted their techniques while incorporating asian ingredients. I should eat more Vietnamese.

  6. Logan August 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    I think this debate may require another bracket…

  7. Ryan August 18, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    You sorely needed a moderator in this discussion. I cannot BELIEVE you all are praising English food. There are a few good items in English cuisine that you mentioned but you have to take the whole thing, not just what you like (yes those things are very good). Out of all of us, I think I lived in England the longest, right? Maybe we need Julia to weigh in on this or something.

    When I lived there, I could only eat English food for the first few months, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I ended up eating a lot of Subway (eat fresh) and random ethnic take-away….which I really miss. I want my double chickent burger with cheese!

    Oh, and BTW, good saurkraut is very good. Shame on you for poo-pooing it, Claire. At least is has flavor, unlike the boiled cabbage that accompanies Irish food, yuck.

  8. mazz August 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi kids, Miss me?
    I would like to defend Ethiopian food. It’s delish. Lot’s of gooey bready, bread and different things
    to mix and mash together. AND you eat with your hands and yet the whole experience stays surprisingly classy.

  9. Drewpreme August 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Uncle Preme weighs in…

    1 Jamaican
    2. Soul Food/Southern
    3. Bulletproof Chinese
    4. Eye-talian
    5. Mex-I-Can

    I’m far from a foodie though. I really just enjoy anything Adam Richman scarfs down on “Man vs. Food”. The first to choices are completely biased due to its what I’ve grown up on and eaten the most over my life time (with McDonald’s being a shocking second behind homecooking)

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