One of the biggest observations I had when I first came to the US was the massively different role that fat-based foods plays in people’s daily lives, along with the entirely different psychology around it.
For many Americans, eating foods rich in fat is a lifestyle.
For instance, cheese and cream are essential parts of life. Family movie nights can’t happen without the buttered popcorn, and a burger without 1-2 slices of cheese isn’t complete. Mozzarella strings are finger snacks that adults and children happily indulge in. When you devour cheese, cream or any fat-based dressing in your food – like those in that burger – every titbit of them goes into your body.
Yumm…. Everything’s good.
To the Chinese, fat is only for the utility purpose of cooking, and in general, eating fat is not associated with pleasure, entertainment, or boredom.
For this reason, there are way fewer opportunities to eat fat-based foods in China, and the primary sources of them are the cooking oil, limited fatty tissues of meat, and nuts that are only occasionally eaten.
Rarely do Chinese people, who enjoy natural foods that are far richer in flavors and textures, eat fat-based food just by itself. And such inventions like deep-fried mozzarella sticks, weren’t nearly imaginable before I left China.