In supplement to my previous post, I felt it was necessary to tackle the topic about heritage, culture, New York City, and mainly, Eddie Huang, owner and proprietor of Baohaus turned food personality. A former lawyer and conversely, drug dealer, he was inspired to make baos to represent his Asian culture. Eddie has experienced major success with the use of social media blogging, 90’s hip hop influences, a polarizing, no-filter personality, and his mother’s Taiwanese recipes.
Throughout his food career, he has written a memoir of his first generation Asian American upbringings, Fresh Off the Boat. This memoir is now a TV show on ABC, with the same title. Eddie Huang is also featured on Vice with his own series, called Huang’s World, Watch him on Munchies to an idea of his personality and advocacy for Asian American representation.
Most people would look at him and say, he’s acting black, but the fact of the matter is, Asians in America don’t really have an identity. Neither should African-Americans when people say they’re acting “white.” As a first generation Filipino American, I relate to this on a profound level. Asians are expected to talk funny, make fortune cookies, excel in math and science, drive terribly, and be short and scrawny. Well, if this were the case, I’d be the worst Asian there ever was.
New York City has offered people like Eddie Huang a cultural outlet in which idiosyncrasies are accepted. I think that people have to experience these certain things while they are still in New York, as it appears that everyone in the city wants to travel to different places in the world. While this is great and necessary, people forget that NYC is its own amalgamation in which they can experience culture first hand; and I’m not just talking about getting an iconic sandwich at Kat’z Deli. There are very few places in the world where you can start your day with a delicious Dominican breakfast, a Brooklyn slice of pizza for lunch, and top it all off with some Japanese ramen. I invite you to take a circuitous journey into other cultures through food, as it’s the easiest way to grasp other cultures, not just your own.