[i am mcasian]

Topic: Culture
New Yorkish helpfully alerts us to the exciting news that McDonald’s is now pandering to Asian-Americans with a marketing website that ranges from the banal (“As Americans with Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, we have many things in common. But we are very different too”) to the bizarre and upsetting (“We’re Asian and Pacific Islander Americans ‘living on the rim'”). Just the pictures alone are gag-worthy (like the food they’re trying to sell).

But my experience in Korea taught me that Asians are just as happy as we are to scarf down foods that have been scientifically formulated to satisfy our basest chemical cravings. Pizza joints are everywhere, fried chicken is a delicacy (as teachers, we were given it as a gift by our kindergarteners’ parents when their kids’ birthdays rolled around). McDonald’s had it’s presence, of course, and even offered a kimchi burger, which had bits of the pickled cabbage cooked into the meat and was served on a rice-cake bun.

But the vilest fast food was Korea’s own Mickey D’s knockoff, Lotteria, brought to you by the giant Lotte corporation whose slogan is “Lotte: Always With You.” I remember being lured repeatedly by one of their posters with what looked like onion rings on it. Time and again I would get all excited for a moment, only to be reminded that those were in fact ojingeo rings: the dreaded squid.

Lotteria, always in step with McDonald’s, is now offering a supposedly healthier “Wellbeing Life Meal,” which is reviewed by A Geek in Korea, who claims that “Eating this was like dropping a small brick in my stomach.”

Bon appetit!