The Integration of East Asian food into Western Culture?- Leena Jenson

In recent years with the boom of fast food places opening up there has also been increase of Asian specifically east Asian cuisine such as: Korean, Chinese and Japanese food.

“I’m from Malaysia and when I moved here 1985 it was near impossible to find authentic Malaysia food, especially at a reasonable price” my dad relayed to me however as I was growing up though there still aren’t that many; there are many more than before. The same goes for: Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisine.

Now we not only have a rise of East Asian cuisine but it has also become integrated with ‘western’ cuisine. There are now hybrids such as curry and chips at certain Asian food places. Going out for a cheeky curry or getting Chinese take out is considered mundane, yet 50 years ago it would be seen as abnormal due to (politically incorrect) stereotypes of East Asians being more heavily embedded with comments like, “they eat dogs” or “their food id filthy.” Which is shocking but, was normailsed during this period, now we know better for the most part because East Asian food and culture has now become so integrated with western culture that there’s now been a complete 180 as it’s now become normalised.

Yet, what caused such a drastic shift, and how did East Asian food become integrated to this extent?

The main reason for why there has been more exposure into East Asian cuisine is primarily because of an increase amount of Asian immigrating to the U.K as there are currently 4.2 million Asians living in the U.K currently. This is a 10% from 2010. As a result of this we have become more tolerant and also more exposed to East Asian culture. The second reason for why it’s become normalised is due to travel and us being generally exposed to different cultures thus being able to understand each other’s culture and appreciate Asian food.

Overall we can all agree, that the integration of culture has enriched ‘western’ culture. 

By Leena Jenson