• LOGIN
  • No products in the cart.

Why do Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas?

This time of year, let's be honest: The most Jewish-American tradition isn't even celebrating those eight crazy candle-and latke-filled nights. It's hitting the local Chinese restaurant on Christmas, of course.

讲真,每年一到圣诞节大多数美国犹太人的传统不是去点亮他们痴迷的八盏烛灯或享用土豆馅饼,而是要去当地的中国餐厅。

Many American Jews grow up eating Chinese food every Christmas night. Jews are at the local Chinese place noshing on moo shu pork with a side of spare ribs. Sure, Chinese food is full of pork and shellfish—both of which are considered traif, or non-Kosher under traditional Jewish dietary guidelines—but among the less strict, eating Chinese is a de facto ritual.

很多美国犹太人从小到大每个圣诞夜晚都会享用中餐。在中餐馆里,犹太人丝毫不在意点一盘猪排骨加上木须猪肉。当然,中餐里也有大量的猪肉和贝壳类食品,这些都被犹太教认为是不清洁(non-Kosher)的食物。但是在这一天,吃满含这些东西的中餐几乎成了他们的仪式。

Hell, the tradition-cum-trope even famously wormed its way into the halls of power a few years back. In what is now an exchange widely known throughout the polito-sphere, Senator Lindsey Graham asked Justice Elena Kagan how she had spent the previous Christmas during her 2010 confirmation hearing, and Kagan shrewdly responded to uproarious laughter, "You know, like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant."

然而在过去几年中,这样反传统的行为在美国犹太人文化中为自己争得了一席之地。最有名的就是2010年国会大法官任命听证会上,参议员格拉汉姆(Lindsey Graham)询问即将成为最高法院大法官的艾琳娜.卡根是如何度过上个圣诞节的。当时卡根回应道:"你懂的,就像所有的犹太人一样,我可能在一家中餐馆。"

All of this has us wondering: What the hell is up with Jews and Chinese food, especially on Christmas? We reached out to a number of food experts and chefs on both sides of the cultural divide—Chinese and Jewish—to learn why so many members of the tribe seem to love wontons as much as they do matzoh balls.

所有这些都让我们纳闷,犹太人和中餐是咋勾搭上的,特别是在圣诞节。所以我们采访了几个华裔和犹太裔美食专家和大厨,谈谈他们是如何解释为什么在美国犹太人眼中馄饨和犹太饼球(Matzoh Balls)可以不分伯仲。

Theories abound. For starters, there's this: Back in the day, the only place open for non-Christians to dine on Christmas was the local Chinese restaurant, but that excuse doesn't explain the growing popularity of the trend today, given that there are now plenty of other restaurants, from Indian to Thai, open on Jesus's bday. Indeed, the trend of Jews eating Chinese on Christmas seems to be growing—especially in New York City—where several restaurateurs told me that Christmas is, by far, their busiest day (and eve) of the year, thanks largely to Jewish customers.

先说说理论吧。在最开始的时候是这样的,当时唯一一家在圣诞节期间为非基督教徒群众营业的就是当地的中餐馆。但是现在这个理由似乎已经无法解释为什么中餐变得越来越流行,因为不论是印度餐厅还是泰国餐厅在这一天全都不关门。的确,犹太人在圣诞节吃中餐这个潮流似乎还在不断发展,特别是在纽约,很多中餐厅告诉记者,目前为止圣诞节(/圣诞前夕)是他们每年中最忙的一天,且主顾就是犹太人。

Could the origins of the Jewish love of Chinese food be as simple as geography? The ancestral entry point into the US for most Jews was New York City's Lower East Side, where the LES abuts Chinatown. Ergo, this theory goes, proximity led to the Jewish love of Chinese food.

会不会刚好是地理原因呢?早期的犹太移民来到纽约会聚居在下东区,那里毗邻唐人街。所以刚好解释了为什么犹太人喜欢吃中餐。

Joan Nathan, a well-known Jewish food culinary expert and award-winning cookbook writer, isn't buying it. She says the popularity of Chinese food among Jews took off when they moved out of New York City and into local suburbs in the 1950s and 60s; it was the food of growing affluence and assimilation. Eating Chinese food was also a comfortable way to dine, with Lazy Susans on each table and a low-key atmosphere: "Families that felt they wanted to be American, but weren't highfalutin, loved it. You didn't have to have great manners—you could share. And Jews have always like sharing food."

琼.内森,一位著名的犹太烹饪专家,曾出过一本获奖菜谱。她就不认同这个观点。她告诉记者,其实犹太人热爱中餐的起点恰恰不是在纽约,而是在上个世纪五十年代到六十年代年代他们搬出纽约到了郊区之后才形成的。当时的食物种类日益丰富且逐渐同化。中餐吃起来很舒服。有些犹太人希望更融入美国,但是他们又不想太张扬。吃中餐不需要有那么多条条框框,而且中餐可以分享,犹太人热爱分享食物。

Jayne Cohen, an author and Jewish food historian, agrees. She told me, "I don't think eating Chinese food on Christmas became a tradition until Jews moved out of their enclosed, tight-knit communities and into mixed areas with Christian neighbors."

简.科恩(Jayne Cohen),一名作者兼犹太食物历史学家。她告诉记者:"我认为犹太人是在搬出犹太聚居区,住到与基督徒混居区后才开始兴起这个圣诞节吃中餐的习俗的。"

Ed Schoenfeld, who currently runs Red Farm and Decoy in New York, may understand this tradition better than anybody. After all, he's a Brooklyn Jew who has been in the Chinese-food business for the better part of half a century. He says eating Chinese food became a way for assimilating Jews to embrace the exotic without going too far afield. "If you came from an educated Jewish family in Brooklyn or Queens or Manhattan, Chinese food was an easy-to-go-to, exotic food. It had lost its stigma in the early part of the 20th century and had become affordable. My parents wouldn't go to Le Pavillion or fancy French restaurants. If they wanted to go out to a restaurant, they'd go out to a Chinese restaurant."

艾德.斯科恩菲尔德(Ed Schoenfeld)在纽约经营着两家餐厅,他认为自己对这个事情有着更深入的了解。毕竟他是已经和中餐打了50年交道并居住在布鲁克林的犹太人。他表示吃中餐对于犹太人来说是一个很好的体验异国风味又不用走太远的方法。"如果你是一个住在布鲁克林,皇后区或者曼哈顿的受过良好教育的犹太人,那么一说到异国风味就会想到中餐。在20世纪早期中餐是昂贵高档的代名词,现在它却走入寻常百姓家。我的父母绝对不会去一个高档的法国餐厅。如果他们想要去外头吃饭,他们一定会去中餐厅。"

Joan Nathan says the exoticism of Chinese food added to its appeal, but also believes the Jewish love of Chinese food may be attributable to the outsider status of both communities in a largely white, Christian America: "Maybe it was the familiar feeling of otherness; in other words, they were not as comfortable as the ‘Americans' were, and so they become comfortable with each other."

内森说中餐的异国风味肯定是原因之一,不过犹太人爱中餐的另外一个原因是可以找到归属感。在圣诞节这个典型的白人基督徒的节日里,内森说:"犹太人和中国人可以分享这种局外人的感觉。他们对这个节日不像最传统的‘美国人'一样感冒,所以他们觉得待在一起挺舒服。"

Then there's the nature of Americanized Chinese food itself: Proteins are chopped small and mixed with veggies and a heavy sauce, thereby disguising forbidden pork and shellfish, effectively hiding them in plain sight. Jayne Cohen says Chinese food is "the perfect gateway to the traif-y bits of pork and shellfish hidden in kreplach-like wontons, and eventually, even the blatantly unkosher world of spareribs."

另外美食中餐的一些元素也帮助其在犹太人中打下基础。猪肉、贝壳肉和蔬菜被切碎了藏在面皮和浓浓的酱汁之中。特别是蛋卷和馄饨,这些食物让又想吃猪肉又不想承认自己吃了猪肉的犹太人找到了一个极佳的作弊方法。

Also, there tends to be no dairy in Chinese food, allowing observant Jews to avoid dietary prohibitions on combinations of milk and meat. In short, eating Chinese food is an easy way to cheat on dietary restrictions without having your transgression scream in your face.

并且中餐食物里貌似没有奶制品,使得那些善于观察的犹太人避开了牛奶和肉类组合的饮食禁忌。总之,中餐是一条在饮食限制上作弊的便捷途经,也不用担心会道德越界。

Source: Yahoo

2016-12-28

0 responses on "Why do Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas?"

    Leave a Message

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Copyright ©right 2017 Chinlingo Inc. All rights reserved.