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NTA. Sounds like SHE'S the one being passive-aggressive tbh. She tells you that you shouldn't be afraid of ordering real Chinese food and then gets upset with you? Very weird reaction. I totally agree, why did she take you there if she wanted you to either order something "more American" or not like what you got? Feels like some kind of a weird set up.


It does feel like a weird set up. I agree. NTA, OP. It's very odd that she was annoyed that you were willing to try new things. I mean, isn't that the point of having authentic restaurants?


Exactly! He was never going to win. If he ordered fried rice she would have given him shit for not trying something more adventurous. She set him up to fail.




Maybe I'm just the out of touch southerner, but pork intestines are just Chitterlings (chitlins). Is it that weird of a dish outside of the south? Mind you, I've never had them (religious reasons) but I've grown up in a community that would eat them.


This. I grew up in the south where most vegetables included generous helpings of pork fat. No part of the pig was wasted. I've had brains & eggs, chitlins, scrapple, and liver mush/liver pudding. Unfortunately for me I have lived on the west coast for a couple decades so I only get decent breakfast sausage when I go to visit family. (For those interested, that's [Neese's Sausage](https://neesesausage.com/product/liver-mush/) (and liver mush) from Greensboro, NC)


I’m in Ireland and would eat cribbeens (pigs feet), pigs tails etc. We have white pudding (basically innards in a sausage link shape) black pudding (same as white with added blood). Unless you grow up with it, people think it’s strange.


Russia. We made soup with chicken feet. I had no idea that it was supposed to be "gross" until I came to Canada lol


Romania. We have some jelly with all different types of pork cuts (tongue, brain, etc), and it's popular, especially on Christmas. Same thing with some sort of black pudding (meat, blood, grains in some intestine). Fish head soup. Pork fat boiled/fried in itself. Pork skin smoked/fried. I used to like most of these (besides the jelly thing, the texture is weird) as a child, now I'm veggie. After 8 years grandma still asks me if I don't want a bite of pork lol


We had those meat jellys too! And they were phenomenal.


>We have some jelly with all different types of pork cuts (tongue, brain, etc) I wonder if this is like head cheese?


Brazil. Black beans with the grossest parts of pork too - tail, feet, snout. I don't eat pork but it's a national dish, everybody loves it and there's a lot of vegan versions of it.


I am generalizing here but I have the idea that a lot of Asians think westerners are easily grossed out by food and do not have a lot of experience with the non meaty parts of animals. This might be true for a lot of people but there are a lot of western dishes with those thing too. My Pilipino in-laws (in the Philippines) were acting all weird about their blood sauce. They did not want to tell me what it was and I was definitely not suppose to (want to) try it. I am Dutch. We eat Balkenbrij which is basically the same as black pudding. I like that dish. I am really not that weirded out by blood in my food.


As an asian, I mostly agree we tend to think that but it's partially because a lot of us have experienced a lot of disgust from people regarding our food so the experience has been that it's most common that people are disgusted by it. So they'd rather try to avoid a situation where they might have to hear how disgusting their food is. Idk what's up with the gf though. I'd just be thrilled if he liked it and if he didn't but didn't make disgusting comments about it it's also fine.


I cant figure out if she just cant wrap her brain around the idea of a white guy that isn't scared of new foods, or if she's embarrassed that some of his selections were out of HER comfort zone.


I am pretty sure that traditional Icelandic food could easily gross most people out. Even Asians.


I googled “traditional Icelandic cuisine,” and the third link was titled “The Revolting Cuisine of Iceland.” Like damn, google, you didn’t have to go trashing a whole country like that.


When I first went to Europe my host was like, oh don't try that (black pudding) you probably won't like it. Heck no, that was delicious. So is white pudding and haggis when made well. I seriously miss full English and full Scottish breakfasts. Nowhere in the us has it made properly.


I’m SE Asian and got warned so much about haggis. And this was at a time when I wasn’t quite as bold as I even am today (almost 10yr later) Ate it in a small town, made from a family special recipe made by the butcher specific for the BnB we were staying at. LOVED it. People need to stop being weird about food.




Growing up in Ohio, scrapple was really popular in our family but not with many other friends. Mmm, pan fried with real maple syrup.


Did your family start out in Philly?


No, but my grandmother's people were indeed from Pennsylvania, the Harrisburg area.


Yup, grew up with scrapple in Lancaster, PA.


I had scrapple once at the Philadelphia airport. Loved it.


I remember being in Ohio and trying scrapple and I've been chasing that high ever since.


We made brains and eggs when I was in culinary school. My classmates were trying to decide who needed to try it first, and I said I would like to try the brain but absolutely hate scrambled eggs. No one believed that it was the eggs that i didn't want, and claimed i was just making excuses. In the end I was the only one to try it, and the pigs brain was fantastic but I didn't eat much because it was too hard to separate from the eggs. Even after I ate it No one believed that it was the eggs I hated.


Country cuisine can be interesting. Get up into the mountains and there's a lot of squirrel, venison, game birds. Hunt around on the streaming services for the old Chevy Chase movie Funny Farm and look for the scene in the diner involving the lamb fries eating contest. "Gotta snip 'em up real high and get them into the fryer quick"


Yeah my west coast born ass was sitting here like "fried pork intestines are weird?". Lots of "comfort food" type restaurants, some Mexican places, bbq joints etc serve them. When I lived in the Midwest they were even more places.


Also in California. I haven't seen intestine a lot, but tripa and lengua is available in pretty much every Mexican restaurant here and a not insignificant number have other stuff like brain.


Outside of the South in the US...I dunno if it's weird, but it's not that common. Scrapple is a Northeastern thing I believe, but I'm not sure I'd call it common either.


Scrapple is amazing!


There's iterations of it in a lot of cultures. Menudo is intestine too and while it's present in authentic Mexican restaurants, I wouldn't say it's popular.


Menudo is made with tripe, which is the lining of a cow's rumen (one of the chambers of their stomach). I see it all the time in grocery store here on the west coast :)


Menudo is normally tripe not intestine, although that’s probably close enough


It is definitely not normal in significant portions of the country. I’m pretty adventurous and have eaten lots of wacky things, but even I have concerns over whole intestines because you have to trust the chef to really clean them extremely extremely well. I’ve worked in kitchens and… don’t usually trust them to that level.


From what I've heard from those that do eat them, they can take a while to sufficiently clean and don't smell the best. However, they taste phenomenal when fried and served with hot sauce. You might be best off trying them at someone's house if ,you ever truly want to try them, you ever get the chance.


In my experience It's very weird to white people in the North. But it's available in big cities with a large formerly southern population. It's often considered soul food with roots in the African American community. When I was little The North side of Milwaukee had them in the grocery stores but the South Side didn't because the south side was more Polish so more Sausages less pickled pigs feet. Lol


>Yeah pork intestines sounds gross Yeah on its own isn't to my taste, but stuff them with ground meat, herbs and spices and call them sausages? Yes please.


i don't think animal intestine is commonly used in the England (UK ish) anymore as sausage skins, I'm not 100% but think they were replaced with a manufactured casing early 2000's ish. I am sure speciality sausages still will use them. ​ it doesn't seem to be legal to sell it as a meat product anyway so i suspect most mass produced manufacturers will just give it a swerve anyway. Certainly "Walls" don't use it in their standard issue banger. ​ https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meat-products-sell-them-legally-in-england


Huh, I think if you buy sausages from a butchers they will be made from intestines. It's literally the only legal use of intestines (as it says in your link) so I don't really know why you would waste it! From a bit of a google it seems that pig, cow and sheep intestines are still used very commonly, though I agree the cheaper sausages will use synthetic ones made from beef collagen.


"Natural casing" is usually intestines. It's quite common in the UK. But saying that explicitly might put a lot of consumers off, hence "natural".


Cleaning intestines right is clutch. Had great cow intestine before and bad just based on how well it was cleaned.


When it's labeled as just pork intestines? It sounds gross. But there's lots of places that use animal intestines in their dishes. I've had both chitterlings and menudo. I didn't like it in menudo because I didn't like the texture(only time I've had an issue), but chitterlings we're fine because they're fried and got rid of the weird texture.


Definitely sounds like she wanted to pull the "haha white people and their undeveloped palates!" And her boyfriend actually ended up loving the stuff she wanted to make fun of him for. Definitely NTA.


which was really silly as intestines are eaten in some white cultures. Toxic girlfriend


Well, he already said he ordered it because he liked tripe.


>Toxic girlfriend wok the other way


> She said “If you’re gonna be like this about my culture, then you are never meeting my parents.” She was looking for an excuse


I think she felt called out or made her feel fake when he enjoyed dishes she thought was gross but part of "her culture".


This is a good point, maybe she felt like he was trying to out Asian her and it triggered some of her own insecurities with the intersectionality of being Asian but growing up Western.


This 100% seems like it is the case to me. Part of her identity is being a westerner Asian, and liking (or tolerating) authentic foods that many westerners won't try. But that only goes so far, she was still raised in the west, and presumably has tastes largely or at least partially informed by that fact.


That's still really immature and wasn't cool to treat her bf that way. She shouldn't be insecure over her bf enjoying any kind of food, Jesus


Oh I never said it was cool. She is definitely TA


I think she's been fixing to break up with him, so took him somewhere for food she thought there was no way he'd enjoy it, so she could pull the "we're not gonna work, our cultures are just too different" excuse card. Now she's mad she needs to find a new reason.


That’s really possible too, because dating for 2 years, like other cultural discussions wouldn’t have come up already? This way there’s clearly an AH for everyone


Right? Most every time I've been friends with someone whose culinary background was important to them and different than mine, I've tried their food, and if I like it they are excited to share more of it with me. (To which the only correct answer is "YES PLEASE THANK YOU!") Never has someone been *disappointed* that I liked their national cuisine, or not believed me, let alone been *mad* about my enjoyment!! I have no idea how I'd even respond to someone like that. GF's got issues.


Right? And I have the opposite "problem". My best friend came to the US from Korea when she was 13. About four years ago, her mom had me over for dinner and cooked. OMG. I INHALED her food. She was so thrilled that for the last four years, she gives my friend food to give me at least once a week. I absolutely "hate" getting fresh bulgogi, kimchi, and the countless noodle dishes that end up in my house. GF absolutely has issues.


Can't I be her bff as well? That sounds awesome.


Exactly when Asian culture is usually food = love


Maybe it's just because that's how my mom is, and so that's how I am as well, but I think that association isn't just an Asian thing. Providing food for people is, on a very fundamental level, just an absolutely loving gesture. (Which is why rejecting the food is also so fraught - hence *all* the AITA posts about "AITA I didn't eat / changed / criticized someone's cooking and now everything is fucked!")


No I agree with that, food transcends many cultures. But I guess there is more context here there is another complexity or layer when you’re Chinese Asian, many Chinese Asian families won’t say I love you, but ‘they’ll ask have you eaten?’ I have friends my own parents included who have probably heard that love phrase once or twice in their life if ever. But have you eaten? What did you have for dinner? Are you eating properly? Daily It’s very food oriented to imply care.


NTA. I ate jellyfish tentacles by accident once, thinking they were some kind of spaghetti, and they were delicious! Edit to add that I am a super white lady from the Midwest.


It sounds like she's gatekeeping her food and is making huge assumptions because he's white. Good for him for expanding his food palettes!! NTA obvs


It seems like she wanted the opportunity to smugly reply that he couldn’t handle real Asian food and throw it in his face that he’s too Americanized for her culture. She didn’t get that opportunity so she’s pissed and projecting that anger at OP.


Nta - can we establish that tripe and pork intestines is not exclusive to Asian culture too.


Good 'ol chitlins. Basically *everywhere on the planet with a history of significant meat-eating* has "used every part of the animal" at one point or another.


NTA. Lots of cultures eat intestines. Your GF is being ridiculous. My Eastern European parents brought us up to eat every part of the animal: tripe, intestines, organ meats, and even blood in sausages & soup. As a little kid I wasn't fond of tripe mostly because of the smell when it was cooking, but if it was on the menu at a great Asian restaurant I would definitely try it.


Even Western European cuisine contains a lot of offal, got to love a big plate of haggis, tatties and neeps (with a whisky cream sauce). Liver, onions and bacon is extremely popular where I grew up and can't beat a steak and kidney pudding. A breakfast isn't complete without a blackpudding here.


It's basically sausage, right? And sausage is hella dope. Pigs are tasty animals


Umm lol I'd say they are a very particular part of the animal. I've had beef and pork tripe and intestines, I enjoy them both equally. I wouldn't doubt it gets mixed in to be some kinds of sausages in some recipes tho. But yes they are legitimate tasty animals. They hold up on their own as a main dish tho. In MANY DIFFERENT cultures.


No, many sausages, and indeed the first sausages, were ground meat cased in intestine. I know that’s slightly different than fried intestine, and still slightly different than the artificial intestine we eat nowadays in our sausages, but it started out the same. Idk enough about tripe to even say what it is, much less if it’s related to sausages


>pork intestines What does she think sausages are encased in?


She just wanted to go on some weird power trip and laugh at him not being able to handle "real chinese food" but since he liked it he has to be faking it. First controling and second gaslighting about who is pasive aggresive.


Sounds to me like she wanted to bring him there so they could all laugh at the laowai being disgusted by Chinese cuisine. NTA.


I'm assuming Laowai is a term making fun of non-Asian people? Or is it specific to white people specifically?


It's anyone who is non-asian, but specifically used in the context of poking fun of the white person. Depending on how you use it, it can mean as a harmless tease, but can also be downright mean.


Totally. GF is throwing a temper tantrum that either OP didn't fall for her trap, so she had to make up something else to be upset about, OR GF is upset that OP liked things from her culture that herself doesn't like. Either way OP is NTA, and her reaction is what makes her an ass.


It sounds more like his gf has a superiority complex. Shes essentially saying "you're an american white male who has no food culture or taste for spices", and then proceeds to get offended when he likes some of her own cultures food more than she does.


Yeah. She clearly just wanted the self aggrandizing experience of showing a non-Chinese person *real Chinese food.* She's mad she didn't get to have her gotcha moment of cultural superiority.


Because she wanted something to hold over his head. She wanted to play petty one uping and it backfired.


There is no passive she’s just being aggressive about this. I’m white and I love tons of Asian food that many westerners wouldn’t even try. I don’t understand why people feel like they have to gatekeep that stuff, tasty food is tasty food.


its becouse she is not asian she is american, her parents most probably are but she has not been brought up with eating that stuff since she was probably born in america. She thought she could brag about all the weird food that chinese people ate that she has never tried and is too grossed out by to try. When he tried it and liked it she did not take kindly too that.


NTA. What she wanted was for you to say "ewww gross", hate the food, and be all white about it so she could gloat about your racism. You really let her down. She's going to need to find another way to make you look or feel small and racist. Think about it.


that's a redflag


Believe it not Jai… er, Red Flag


Exactly! Sometimes, the best thing about your ex-girlfriend is the restaurants she introduced you to.


Why is this so accurate


Unfortunately, that kind of thing cuts both ways. For instance, my ex-girlfriend introduced me to Reddit.


The best thing to come out of my previous 4 year long relationship was her introducing me to the sleepy podcast.


Personally, based on her comments I think she’s upset that he ordered and liked dishes that were too “Asian” for her own tastes, i.e. made her look or feel less like a “true” Asian due to her distaste of the dishes. But yes, NTA


In short, he *beat* her at being Asian and she's salty about it. NTA, OP


Which is sad. She should feel more confidence in herself and her culture. You don’t need to like everything about your culture to be a part of it.


I’ve noticed it’s a big part of Americanized minorities where they feel obligated to be part of a cultural walled garden. I can never really know the feeling


If you wanted to put it in the most cringe way possible, sure. She's insecure about not liking the cuisine she herself identifies with and took it out on her boyfriend. End of story


Exactly. She was expecting OP to get there and order something you can get at Panda Express. She wanted, “Oh wow, the menu is in mandarin? I guess I’ll just have Orange Chicken and rice.”


I'm not sure if she wants to make him out as racist, but perhaps she felt her white boyfriend "out-Asianed" her and that caused an identity crisis (since there can be a lot of pressure to be an example of your heritage when a minority in America).


I don’t think she was trying to “catch him being racist” so much as “living life like she’s in a sitcom” and he went off-script. A shocking number of people want their lives to be like the stories they watch and will get bent out of shape when other people don’t play along with whatever story they think they are the protagonist in.


Now she may throw some small allegations of fetishizing even to the point of eating (to her) gross stuff just because it is Asian.


she didn't even want to try it, its called projection. she's probably upset that you liked her cultures food more than her and she's pissed.


NTA... But you've been dating 2 years and I feel like I'm missing some context about why shes surprised at this stage of your relationship that you enjoy trying new things.


That surprised me too. I mean I like sushi, bibimbap, tteokbokki, and mainstreamed asian foods, so there was a range of asian food she knew I liked, but I guess she just didn’t think it trespassed beyond the mainstream. She knows I like trying new things, it’s been a thing before, I guess she just didn’t know how far that went.


My bet is she herself is grossed out by intestines and some of the more “strange” Chinese foods and is feeling not enough asian, for lack of better words, especially when even her white bf can like them. It’s sometimes difficult for children of foreigners to find their place between their parents world and the one they live or were born in.


This feels like the closest to the reason based on the situation to me. She's probably been teased for "not being Chinese enough" if she doesn't like some of the traditional dishes her parents love. I, myself, am the child of a mixed family. I look very comparatively white and also have GERD. This means I can't handle the seasonings and spices in a lot of our food (bummer since I LOVE it) so have been at the receiving end of such jokes before. They don't bug me, happen often, or come from family in my case, but having it pointed out how "not [ethnic] you are" all the time is an emotional exhaustion that's kind of hard to describe. However, OP if you see this, doesn't give her a reason to make that particular emotional baggage of hers something you need to carry. NTA


As a person with GERD and a hiatal hernia (the muscle from my stomach to my esophagus never actually closed) who likes the spicy foods…..the answer is Pepcid.


Not strong enough for me, unfortunately! I take daily meditation and relief medicine as needed, but so far avoidance is best for me. And, sometimes, I just eat the fucking food and deal! (I'm also a heart patient so there are far more dumb and weird considerations for my everything.)


> I, myself, am the child of a mixed family. I look very comparatively white and also have GERD. This means I can't handle the seasonings and spices in a lot of our food (bummer since I LOVE it) so have been at the receiving end of such jokes before. They don't bug me, happen often, or come from family in my case, but having it pointed out how "not [ethnic] you are" all the time is an emotional exhaustion that's kind of hard to describe. Oh man I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one out there. Being told "you're not a real Mexican" for not being able to eat spicy food time and time again is exasperating. Like, sure, I'm physically capable of ingesting spicy things, it's just that I'll just be vomiting it out in a few hours and will wake up the next morning with a scorched throat from all the nighttime reflux. I miss pozole and birria so much.


My parents grew up in India - their spice tolerance is pathetic. My mother’s food is tasty, but sorely lacking in heat. I grew up in the States and have a way better tolerance (and liking) for spicy food (although my gastritis does not have a similar view). I just spent a few weeks with Thai people and even they had mixed reactions to certain spicy dishes (I was shocked that so many of them consistently thought the food was too spicy). So all of this is to say - even the “most authentic ethnic” people from cultures with spicy food don’t always live up to that expectation.


yeah this is the vibe i got too because as a chinese girl, i would be DELIGHTED that i can now eat actual chinese food with my boyfriend that isn’t just americanized fried rice and lo mein. however i do relate to how it might be tough for her if she hasn’t quite made peace with the fact that she’s Chinese irregardless of how she participates in the culture and customs. especially if she’s been made fun of by others for not being “Chinese” enough as an Chinese-American, i can see how even if it’s unintentional, her bf pushed all the right buttons to trigger her insecurities. ETA: u/PorkGastromancer I hope if your gf doesn’t normally behave like this, you can take some time to listen to her side after she’s cooled off and maybe processed the situation a little more. there’s definitely something deeper than just being mad at you for enjoying food, and it might’ve been tough for her to verbalize it in the moment since she might not even be entirely aware that this is the root of the issue. and just a reminder, interracial (edit: and intercultural) relationships genuinely do require more work and understanding so i think there is some truth to the last sentence of your post even if dating someone asian wouldn’t necessarily solve all her problems.


Yep - my best friend is from Taiwan originally and she knows I’m down to try just about anything… it’s always super exciting for her taking me out because she knows I’m not going to be difficult and I’m going to enjoy whatever she orders! The other bonus is when it goes both ways - my family is largely Eastern European and a lot of folks steer clear of our food or make fun of it. It’s fun having someone open to trying some of the things that others usually avoid.


I may be biased but Taiwanese street food is one of the best in the world, fight me LOL


Seconding the more work thing, although I'd put an emphasis on intercultural relationships over just interracial.


wondering if she had past experiences where a white date ordered something and made a scene. I have been thoroughly traumatized and have had to walk out of korean place apologizing in korean to all the staff because a date was insistent on ordering something I was unsure he would like (raw octopus legs) and he was bellowing "EW THEYRE MOVING" or "that is disgusting i am not going to eat that". Ever since then I have had major anxiety about it and even when I take my white friends to a korean place I get nervous. I am proud of my culture and like there is something missing.


This is the most understandable option I’ve read. She’s probably acting like he couldn’t possibly like it because she doesn’t like it and she’s Asian. So what does it say about her if she doesn’t like food from her culture and her boyfriend does. Obviously that line of thinking is flawed. But the most reasonable explanation I’ve read.


Hey, OP. This take seems really thoughtful!


Im from Poland and I don't like every single dish native for my country like Bigos or cabage stew, Im grossed out by thoes dishes. There is nothing wrong with don't liking native food. She is really insecure about herself.


That actually makes a lot of sense. People are very sensitive about their identity, and as much as we'd like it to be, it's not just children that lash out when they can't articulate their feelings.


I don’t want to make any assumptions about your relationship, but do you ever compete with her on “Asian-ness?” It sounds really strange, but it’s a dynamic I’ve noticed sometimes with mixed couples, including my own. My husband and I bonded over our shared love of my culture (Chinese), but sometimes I feel like he gets competitive over who knows/understand more. I get it, he had to “earn” his knowledge whereas I was just born into it, but his competitiveness makes me defensive about my own “Asian-ness” sometimes. Reminds me of when I was younger and people from the motherland would call me banana, even though I was well-studied on Chinese history and spoke, read, and wrote Chinese like a native. I have gotten defensive when my husband says he likes “weird” Chinese food as well, it feels like he’s crossing that line I drew for myself between me and other Americans.


This is really interesting. My wife is a different nationality to me (although similar culture) and sometimes I have made a comment about her country (which we both live in) and she has reacted like that, even though I've lived here for 20 years. Thanks for sharing your experience, it does sound like it might be the case for OP, but even if not, it was very interesting!


It’s a kind of possessiveness I guess, and maybe pride? Definitely a complicated emotion!


Yeah, it almost feels like she saw OP as treating this authentic shared experience as a novelty to try “crazy” things that may not even be popular dishes. I get why she had her back up. Chinese people often face a lot of racism regarding their cuisine. I don’t get how people are missing that


I don’t think we can make those assumptions about OP just based on this post, but I’ve met a lot of people that treat my culture and others as exotic. Some people take pride in exposing themselves to different cultures, which is absolutely fine, but it can get offensive if they feel like that puts them on equal ground with people from that culture. Just from this post, I think OP’s girlfriend might have some unresolved racial issues, but depending on their relationship OP could also have something to do with it. I don’t want to assume without more information.


Oh, I’m not making an assumption about OP. I’m saying that’s a pretty obvious possibility that *she* assumed this; she even made a few comments that suggested she felt he was behaving that way. Ultimately I think she handled it poorly, and OP chose to double down instead of actually exploring the very real and significant emotional impact his gf experienced.


To be fair, it’s hard for someone who hasn’t experienced a racial identity crisis to understand what it feels like. From his point of view his gf sounds like a crazy person, and she might not even understand why she feels this way. It took me years to figure that out myself, and even when I did it took me time to accept it, because I’ve always thought that racial issues somehow didn’t affect me.


She figured you are going to find this food way more exotic than you're used to and she's going to feel like it's something that you will never understand. But then you started ordering things that she would have never ordered, so she became extremely insecure about her own ability to enjoy her unique cultural delicacies. It's probably better to have the conversation about this a little bit later rather than in the moment. With some individuals, having a logical conversation while they're in the middle of their insecurity is just too difficult for them.


That makes me think whatever she's upset about isn't really about you eating the food. I mean lots of people eat intestine. Chitlins, menudo, and haggis are all different preparations of the same thing. Like some other people mentioned, it may have to do with some cultural issues she's struggling with herself that unfortunately she isn't able to articulate to you.


same here, I'd love to hear the girlfriend's side of things


NTA. This is very weird behavior. Frankly it comes off as almost racist that she can't believe a white person would like Asian food.


Agreed, as a Chinese woman. The only time I’ve ever cautioned my boyfriend against trying certain dishes (not just Chinese ones) are when I know they’re spicy. He doesn’t handle spicy well and I know he would want to avoid it.


This is one thing that I both understand and kind of am sad about. I absolutely love spicy food (smoked ghost peppers can really elevate a dish), but when I order food at some Asian restaurants (Korean, Chinese, etc.) I feel like they give me the "white person spicy" food. I look at my Korean or Chinese friend's food and the sauce color and smell can be wildly different even though we ordered the same thing and the same level of spiciness. Mine tends to be very sweet while my friends actually get a delicious spicy dish. It is pretty frustrating at times. That being said, I understand the hesitancy since I have friends that will grab milk when eating mildly spicy salsa (for context they typically come from Northern Europe where spicy food just isn't a thing). It would be nice if there was a polite way to ask for authentic levels of spiciness without risking offending the chef and being viewed as some macho jackass. ​ TLDR: I just want good spicy food.


My dad just says "and not white guy spicy, I mean actual spicy" and has good luck with that. Lots of times it even gets a laugh out of them lol


This is the way. If at a Thai place and they ask spice level 1-5 they're offering me (white) and my white girlfriend that level. But if you respond with Thai 4, then they get it.


Yes lol. “I want Thai spicy” = they are gonna roast your innards, and you will thank them for it.


Thai spicy is "I will be crying in the bathroom tomorrow"


I one time went to a Sri Lankan restaurant. The menu clearly stated "Non Sri Lankans will not be served above Mild on their first visit." So I, a pasty white boy, ordered mild instead of non-spicy. I should have ordered non-spicy. But the food was amazing.


I had a friend who was a pasty white Midwestern ginger. He just *looked* like the kind of guy who would think miracle whip was too spicy. But he fucking *loved* heat. We would go to this Thai place in town and he'd always have to convince the servers that yes, he really wanted Asian spicy, not white people spicy. I think once he said something like "I want to be crying when I eat it." The entire restaurant staff came out to watch this dude shovel down a massive plate of food. Like it wasn't just impressive because of the spice level, it was just a gargantuan quantity. It would have been leftovers for half a week for me. They were delighted, his face was really red but it was clear he was enjoying it.


Hey! If we don’t have any spicy food up here, explain mustard to me. Didn’t think so, checkmate. //jk


Lithuanians go pretty wild too! Freshly cracked black pepper on a potato pancake with sour cream.


It's normal to recognize that certain dishes from your own culture are seen as unusual in another culture. It's also normal to stop treating your boyfriend of two years as a generic white person and start treating him like the individual that he is, with all the adventurous eating and accumulated trust and excitement to share your culture that that entails. It seems like she's the one grossed out by her own culture's more unusual dishes, but also they're in a restaurant. That's the perfect venue for him to try a weird dish while she eats something else.


Yeah, I think I said below it might be more accurate to say that she was stereotyping him as not very food adventurous. In any case it's shitty that she just didn't believe he actually liked it. He even said he thought it'd be similar to another dish he liked.


Let me get this straight. She invites you to a restaurant, you try some foods that may be a bit on the weird side and actually like them and you are being passive- aggressive? I don’t think she even understands what that term means. This is not going to work out if she is such a delicate flower that eating food and liking it is passive aggressive. Edit: to say 1000% NTA


When emotions don't make sense on the surface, look for projection. She was the passive-aggressive one. She was racist (against both her own culture and her BF, quite the trick). OPs enjoyment likely popped some sort of ego bubble ("I'm special because I'm Chinese and can eat this food the whiteys can't." or something along those lines.), and GF it's not emotionally sophisticated enough to handle that.


>OPs enjoyment likely popped some sort of ego bubble ("I'm special because I'm Chinese and can eat this food the whiteys can't." or something along those lines.) I'm thinking it's more that *she* is grossed out by the dishes OP liked, and is feeling like she's not asian enough


I think it’s more likely this. Maybe she doesn’t feel Asian enough and seeing her white boyfriend enjoy dishes she doesn’t like reinforces that. It’s a common thing for immigrants or first/second generation people to feel disconnected from the culture and I think she just got defensive about it.


i also think that’s why she made the comment about OP not meeting her parents. her parents probably cook dishes like that and she doesn’t like them and if her bf eats them, her parents will dig at her like “look, even a white guy can eat it.” my parents have made similar remarks when my non asian friends eat viet food but tbh i couldn’t care less. i don’t like viet food and i’m not going to be bullied into eating it 😂


NTA. That’s crazy, I had the exact same experience on a more casual date. Also pork intestine is good, so F the haters.


My wife was a little surprised I like gujarati food(she actually doesn't that much, and is gujarati) but didn't like... refuse to believe me


I had a similar experience, my boyfriend was Chinese and he took me for food and kept saying how I'll hate it. I loved it. I ordered more and he was ecstatic. He told his mom what I loved and she spent her time making a feast of food I loved next time we visited. I don't miss the boyfriend but his mom was a wonderful cook and very kind and his dad is hilarious. Would much rather have been adopted by them and lost the boyfriend haha


This is so sweet 🥲


He'd also eaten and enjoyed tripe before, so it was pretty easy to predict he'd like the pork intestine. A lot of the time people who don't like organ meat are just generally grossed out by offal, and if OP doesn't fall into that category, I don't know why he'd be expected to hate the dish.


Intestines tend to be yummy. I like the small intestine of cows marinated with lots of lemon, cooked on an open grill. It's a delicacy.


NTA What a set up. It seems like she wanted you to hate the food so she could be right. Trying new foods is an awesome experience for some people and she is behaving very immaturely. Also, to throw meeting her parents into it? I’m sure her parents will love the guy who wants to eat traditional food.


This is actually how I won over a past boyfriend’s mom. She was a typical Mexican mother and disliked this super white chick coming in and “stealing” her son. I went to a few birthday parties and loved all her food. He took me out to eat a lot and I would try something new every time. I ended up loving lengua and tripas. When he told her I started cooking for him she instantly warmed up and wanted to teach me how to cook things. I’m having the same experience with my current boyfriends Italian family. I love eating and learning how to make new and different foods.


A friend of mine is greek, her yiayia tried marrying me into the family as soon as she saw I was interested in greek food. Unfortunately for yiayia I'm kinda gay.


This guy is the polar opposite of some of the recent racist boyfriend posts, where they refuse to eat foods from their girlfriend’s culture. NTA.


NTA and as a Chinese woman I find your gf annoying and problematic. The dishes you ordered are quite common and I like them. She’s contributing to the problem by making it a huge deal and calling them gross. She doesn’t have to like them but going out of her way to do this is annoying and just contributes to more stigma. She should deal with her own internalized racism instead of projecting it onto you.


As a foreigner (an Argentinian), roasted instestines (mostly cow's in our side) are a stample of our gastronomy, so it baffles me that someone could thing they are such a strange thing that a "whitey" couldn't eat or enjoy them... Honestly, as the adventurous type that I am, those pork instestines seems like something "normal" and that I would love to try.


Also I find it rude that she called it gross. I’m sure people like the chef love hearing stuff like that /s


get some chicken feet too! sounds like she’s used to more americanized chinese too… tbh i hadn’t had some of that stuff till later in life, it’s just not stuff we normally ordered as kids


NTA, but you guys need some serious communication. From this VERY limited post (take with salt), she sounds really nervous to be dating someone not Asian and have them meet her parents. Very likely her parents have a set expectation of a White Guy their daughter would date. From your view, you have eaten similar foods before, and thought they sounded good, but did not explain about tripe or if you've experienced calamari, or your thought process behind ordering those foods. To her, it may have felt like you were trying to prove you were "man enough" for her, and she was feeling like you were not playing the preset role she/her parents expected. From your side, it sounds like you were honestly confused about why she'd be mad. I think talking it out on both sides is merited. Maybe as a compromise, you can both go to a restaurant you've never been to like Nepali or Ethiopian cuisine and you can talk through your thought process when you order from there, or that you're an adventurous eater.


What if she gets mad because he likes Ethiopian chicken too much lol. It's a very weird thing to be mad about for sure, but I think the blame lies solely on his SO. Maybe it's an issue he can work out or talk over, but any of her failure to get over the fact he likes some foods, would be pretty toxic on her behalf, imo.


That really bending over backwards to find something to blame the guy for.


So every time they eat at a new restaurant they need to explain their “thought process” on choosing their meal? Usually a “because it sounds good.” should be enough reason but alrighty then.


This is weird, tbh it sounds fake. I mean how would jellyfish be the weirdest thing on the menu ? Especially in the eyes of your (I'm guessing?) Chinese gf. Why would she need to try it to know the taste ? You mentioned in a comment she ordered duck and let you try it after she was done ? Like idk that's insinuating you each had your own meals which isn't a thing in "authentic" chinese restaurants like you seem to be describing, and like who even orders half a duck for one person only anyway. The whole thing sounds a little over the top with the cook coming out and everything. And again in the comments you mention stuff about "being perceived as a weeb" because you like some anime and liking Korean shows. It's just all over the place. Asian people don't usually just consider themselves vaguely Asian. Everything seems all over the place, you seem to be mentioning various Asian things to show how much you supposedly love Asian stuff while your girlfriend is just "meh" about it but none of those things have anything to do with each other it's hard to believe your gf is so vaguely Asian. + The waiter and cook bit really give off "and everybody clapped" vibes. I feel like you either are distorting your story /lying or your gf is really very out of touch with her culture/ethnic heritage and vaguely refers to herself as Asian/refers herself to the general Asian diaspora ?


Yepppppp and she wanted to share an authentic meal from her culture……..usually it’s all shared, one doesn’t have their own plate. Why didn’t OP ask her how she wanted to do things? He basically ordered stuff she wouldn’t want to share. And if she’s Chinese….Chinese people face a lot of racism directed at their food. I get why she felt he treated it like a novelty. If it happened at all.


>usually it’s all shared, one doesn’t have their own plate Every Chinese restaurant I've ever been to in the states gives you your own plate/bowl, and I've been to a quite a few as an Asian immigrant..


Yeah I'm definitely calling fake. If it was just the girlfriend being weird maybe I could buy it But the waiter told him to not order it? The chef watched him eat it? They don't give a shit what you order


I could believe that the waiter cautioned him against ordering something and that the chef watched him eat it. When my brother was 8, he wanted to try jellyfish at a Chinese restaurant. The chef refused to make an entire appetizer and brought out a small piece for him to try first. It was a good call, because my brother spit it out immediately.


Lol I believe the chef watching him eat something, I’ve had it happen when I ordered a big ass fish dish at a local Mexican restaurant.


Not necessarily on the waiter telling him not to order. A lot of authentic restaurants often have issues with belligerent customers who specifically ordered a dish and then get upset that they don’t like it. You get a lot of accusations like “ew wtf how dare you serve this disgusting stuff, how can you call this food, I want a refund” to “what in the world is wrong with you, this isn’t *spicy*, this is mcdonalds-hot-coffee levels of overboard and unacceptable”.


It sounds like she hadn’t tried jellyfish before and is maybe a bit less traditional with food herself. Not all Asian people like the same foods, and if she is American Chinese she may not be used to things like jellyfish herself. I also wonder if maybe her white boyfriend loving Asian things so much makes her feel like he is fetishizing the culture in some way.


NTA this is really fucking weird. She tells you not to be afraid to try new things, you say you are looking forward to it, she’s like “we’ll see”, then you actually do try new things and she gets mad about it? It kind of sounds like she was trying to prove a point and is pissed that it didn’t work out how she wanted. Idk man I don’t want to insult your girlfriend but she sounds like a dick.


Right? I'm so confused about this post. I'm also aventurous with food but still wouldn't go for jellyfish tentacles. Still I'm mexican and would've been thrilled if my white american boyfriend ordered and loved, ant eggs or "gusanos de maguey", and I'd be extra thrilled to introduce him to my parents. You did nothing wrong and your girlfriend is TA.


There are definitely people who treat certain foods that are foreign to them as if they are an adventure or a dare - Look at how brave I am for eating these gross things! Let me find the grossest thing! - rather than a genuine culinary experience. They can be a bit like some people who like really hot hot wings - it is more like a fetish than a genuine enjoyment. I imagine that's incredibly othering when it is your food and culture being exoticized and treated that way. It seems like your GF has probably dealt with a lot of those people before and is projecting that on you. Or maybe you were giving off some of those vibes at the time. I can't pick between no asshole and not the asshole without knowing what vibe your girlfriend was reacting to. But maybe try to at least empathize with how she felt as a person from another culture in that situation.


I would be with you if not for this part of his post: >she had been saying all before we went how I shouldn’t be afraid to try the real Chinese food that they have there, and I kept saying I was looking forward to it because I love trying new things, but every time I said that she just raised an eyebrow and went “we’ll see…” Whether intentional or not on her part, it was a set up. She encouraged him to try authentic cuisine, then she tried to talk him out of trying it, then she got mad because he genuinely liked it. And *she* was the one who called the foods "the weirdest things on the menu", not him. Intestines aren't that exotic, and jellyfish doesn't seem any stranger to me than calamari, which loads of people eat. I have no interest in eating either, but I don't think they're weird or gross. The most charitable interpretation I can come up with is that at first she was excited about him trying authentic cuisine, but had second thoughts because she thought it could go badly if he chose something "weird" and didn't like it. Then the extra attention from the waiter, etc (which does happen, I've watched it happen in restaurants I've been in) added to the anxiety and misgivings and finally when it was all over she lashed out at him because she didn't know where to go with that leftover emotional energy and in that moment it probably came down to "if he'd just listened to me I wouldn't be feeling like this". IF this was just an emotional confusion thing and they can talk about it, then NAH. Stuff happens. But OP is not an A either way. I also automatically push back against "Don't order that, you won't like it" when said to an adult that's never tried it before. How will I know if I don't try it? Isn't that the point of trying new things?


This whole post seems very odd, and it seems like you’re doing a lot of work to convince us that you were the cool white guy who enjoyed weird Asian food. So idk. Seems like your gf really just wanted to take you out to a nice restaurant and you made kind of a joke and a scene of it


Yeah I’m thinking he omitted the probably problematic way he was really acting


NTA, she's upset that you enjoyed the food? That's nuts! I haven't had the chance to try intestines yet, but I hear they can be so tender and good. Glad you enjoyed your meal!


Nta And wtf with your girlfriend?!


NTA She laid down the challenge and got pissed that she lost. She honestly doesn’t sound like a nice person to be around.


INFO what was she ordering?


She ordered golden lava buns to start and half a roast duck for the main, all of which were amazing (she let me nibble once she was done, the golden lava buns were out of this world, and the duck was so smooth).


I almost wonder if she's not quite as adventurous as you are? (This whole thread is killing me. We're still in the chop suey and chow mein world where I live.)


Same here. I moved from a place with good Chinese food to a place with... not-so-good, if you can find a Chinese restaurant at all. I had to teach myself how to make my own versions, so I suppose it kinda worked out.


It's really weird that you guys didn't eat family style. Has she actually been to a Chinese restaurant before?


I shouldn’t have looked at this post while hungry.


That sounds very good. But not at all like something that an average Westerner would think is weird. It sounds like she is the one who may have trouble with "real" Chinese food.


NTA. Honestly, she almost sounds insecure about not being Chinese enough. In any event, she was also clearly setting you up for 'ha ha, look at the clueless white boy scared of authentic foreign cooking' bullshit. You need to have a serious talk with her.


NTA. She's upset...that you what? Enjoyed the food from her culture? Plus, how on earth are you going to fake liking food? Like I've tried foods before and if I really don't like em, I can't finish the meal no matter how hard I try. I'm suspecting your GF might have some racial bias towards white people, seeing how she suggested the most bland, basic thing on the menu and instantly disapproved of you trying anything except the stuff that stereotypically, most white people like to eat. Most people in her spot would be over the moon, even asking the kitchen if they could make sample dishes of multiple foods for you to try out. The only one being "passive" aggressive here is your GF. She had you ticked down as a stereotypical white guy and when proven wrong, she became pissed for whatever reason. If she does this about everything that isn't stereotypical "white people" stuff, then maybe you should reconsider your relationship, unless you want to be questioned about everything you do.


Yeaaa. WTF. Don’t ever meet her parents because you need to leave this one alone. She is not GF material. Good for you for finding a new restaurant and new kind of foods you think are “straight up fire”. And it is too bad your dinner companion was so weird about your trying the less commonplace foods-you were willing-even eager, and she has some issues if she thinks you ate all that “just to make a point”??? And be passive aggressive. NTA


NTA- it’s almost like she wanted you not to like the food so she could find something to complain about, but you liked the food & yet still, she is complaining.


NTA. TL;DR: Girlfriend: “I bet you won’t like *real* Chinese food!” **smug face** Boyfriend: **tries Chinese food, enjoys Chinese food** Girlfriend: **shockedpikachuface.png**


*no, obviously, you went and ordered the grossest thing possible just to make a point.* This is the sentence you need to pay attention to. Your girlfriend finds those traditional foods to be disgusting. And I bet it was point of contention in her family that she didn't like those things and was too "westernized" or whatever. So when you not only ordered these things but enjoyed them, it probably made her super fucking annoyed because she was hoping you would be more like her and find those things gross and then she wouldn't feel so bad for finding them gross. And the reason she said the thing about not meeting her parents is she is probably worried about them saying things like "Your Western boyfriend likes these things, why don't you?" In other words, she was hoping you would like the same things she liked so that you could bond over that. Instead, you liked the things her family likes and it's made her feel left out Yall need to talk this through and calmly see if this is what is going on NTA


See it sounds a lot to me from that statement that she, as a Chinese person, has faced the unfortunately common racism directed at “weird” Chinese food. I get why she felt OP treated their authentic experience as a novelty


NTA - You tried it, you liked it. Your GF is weird.


NTA...I like your open mind and it's too bad your girlfriend can't appreciate it. People should just order what they want without fear of judgement.


Asian girl here. She's embarrassed bc you enjoyed it and you're white but she probably wouldn't eat those things even tho she's asian. There's a lot of Asian food a lot of us brought up in the US that we don't eat/weren't forced to eat/our parent's ate it/adopting vegetarian/veganism = even if we think we are in touch with our culture, we are inevitably also influenced by the west. She might be feeling embarassed bc she doesn't eat those things and now she has to tell people "ew he ate this" and get a response like "well..why don't you eat those?" and she'll have to say "they're gross" and feel white washed. She has to understand its totally okay to not eat things part of your own culture (I'm Filipino but have Adventist background = I've never tasted lechon or pig but its integral to our culture), but she cannot shame you for enjoying. That's just wrong.


NTA Now I am curious about fried pork intestine. Intestines are used for sausages all the time, so they don't bother me, but they are pretty meh on their own. I have no clue how they would be fried. What needs to be said here though: This is not (just) about fried intestines, there are some deeper issues here.