盘子上的移民--中餐在美国的发展(3)

作者:Jerry 来源:未知 2020-01-08

That, in truth, was a consoling simplification. Americans have traditionally been willing to pay through the nose at French or Italian joints (where, in fact, Latinos often do most of the cooking). And every city has its pricey sushi bars and exorbitant tapas restaurants (tapas, as one joke goes, is Spanish for “$96 and still hungry”).

事实上,这是一种令人宽慰的简化。传统上,美国人总是愿意花大价钱去法国或意大利餐馆(实际那里的大部分菜都是拉美人做的)。每个城市都有昂贵的寿司店和昂贵的西班牙小食馆(西班牙小食馆,就像一个笑话说的那样,西班牙语的意思是“花了96美元但还是很饿”)。

But Mr Huang is right that Americans have long expected Chinese food to be cheap and filling. One step up from the urban takeaway, with its fluorescent lighting and chipped formica counter, is the stripmall bistro with its imposing red doors and fake lions standing guard—sufficiently exotic to be special, but still affordable enough for a family to visit once a week when nobody feels like cooking.

但是黄先生是对的,美国人长期以来一直期望中国的食物便宜又可口。在配备荧光灯和有缺口的富美家柜台的城市外卖餐馆的楼上,是一家小型酒馆,它有气派的红色大门和守卫的假狮子——有足够的异国情调,很特别,但仍然足够经济实惠,没有人想做饭的时候,一个家庭每周去一次。

American dreams

美国梦

Even the superior outlets were cheap for what they served (and often still are). Consider the hand-ripped noodles with lamb at Xi‘an Famous Foods in lower Manhattan. A tangle of long noodles, each about the width of Elvis Costello’s ties in the late 1970s, is tossed with curls of braised lamb and a complex, incendiary sauce laced with cumin and chillies—all for just over $10, a fraction of the price of comparably accomplished dishes at smart restaurants nearby. True, Xi‘an Famous Foods has no waiters (diners carry their plates on plastic trays to bench seating). But its noodles are handmade, and the lamb dish may be the single best thing to eat in New York at any price.

即使是高档餐厅的服务也很便宜(现在仍然如此)。以曼哈顿下城西安名吃店的羊肉扯面为例。一堆长长的面条,每条都有埃尔维斯·科斯特洛在上世纪70年代末的领带那么宽,上面撒着一卷卷的炖羊肉和一种混合了孜然和辣椒的辣酱,所有这些菜的价格仅略高于10美元,与附近的高级餐厅里同样精致的菜肴的价格相比,只是九牛一毛。的确,西安名吃没有服务员(用餐者自己把盘子放在塑料托盘上拿到长凳座位上)。但它的面条是手工制作的,而羊肉可能是纽约不论价格高低最好吃的食物。

But now things are changing. Mr Huang sells deliciously pillowy stuffed buns in New York and Los Angeles for $5.50 each—or, as he puts it, “full fucking price”—and encourages other immigrants not to undervalue their work. Restaurants in Q’s bracket are cropping up not just in America’s Chinatowns but in the suburbs, where Chinese immigrants and their families have settled, following the classic strivers’ path. The median income of Chinese- Americans’ households is nearly 30% higher than the average. They are more than twice as likely as other Americans to have an advanced degree.

但现在情况正在改变。黄先生在纽约和洛杉矶卖美味松软的包子,每个5.5美元,或者,用他的话说,“全价”,黄先生还鼓励其他移民不要低估他们的工作价值。像Q这样的餐馆不仅出现在美国的唐人街,也出现在郊区,这里是中国移民和他们的家人定居的地方,他们遵循着经典的奋斗之路。美籍华人家庭的收入中位数比平均水平高出近30%。他们拥有高学历的可能性是其他美国人的两倍多。

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