Ethnic Wedding Recommendations From The Knot!
As you may know, the wedding industry and its foibles are a regular source of amusement and/or amazement for me. Today’s fun? Lily just brought to my attention the fact that The Knot has its own Chinese wedding page. There’s nothing inherently ridiculous about that — anyone who’s had an Indian friend get married knows that wedding traditions vary hugely across cultures. However, I am LOVING some of the suggestions in their article “Top 10 Chinese Wedding Q&A.”
I have to think that this article was written by a white non-biologist, and here’s why. Question number three is: Which traditional Chinese dishes will appeal to both our Chinese and Western guests’ tastes? First, they suggest Peking Duck. Fine, good. Fatty, salty, a little sweet? Who can argue with that? Here’s the good part:
For your side salad, include sea cucumbers, thought to symbolize harmony and lack of conflict between newlyweds.
SEA CUCUMBERS? For your poor innocent American wedding guests? And on a side salad? I’m guessing the author has never actually had sea cucumber and is under the impression that a sea cucumber is a vegetable of some kind.
What is a sea cucumber, really? That’s it at top, folks! To begin with, it’s an animal, a slightly slimy relative of the starfish. Not a vegetable. They also have the charming habit of ejecting their entire digestive tract as a defense if they are handled roughly. (Makes you want dinner, doesn’t it?) Yes, it’s true that the Chinese eat them (cooked), although you can take my word for it that there are few more unattractive items in a Chinese grocery store than a bucket of live sea cucumbers. But people, that is HARD CORE. This is not to Western tastes. I’m part Asian, and they are not even to my tastes. I’m pretty sure that at least one third of all Westerners, if brought a side salad with a sea cucumber on it, would scream and make the waiter take it away.
To be fair, I am almost tempted to serve sea cucumber on salad at my own wedding when it comes, just to hear the screams, were it not for the possibility that I might have to eat it myself. But hey, there’s always my dad to pass it off on!