Giant on the move
Whatever happened to culinary diplomacy?
Al Himmer and Erik Kirschbaum blogged about their experience of crash-dieting during the Olympics, with most of the venues offering only cookies and bananas for reporters putting in 10 or 12 or 14 hours covering a sport.
Inside the Main Press Centre, there is plenty of food to be had. It’s not going to win any gourmet awards but the turkey on whole wheat is just fine and it’s hard to go wrong with a salad bar.
Sadly, it’s the Chinese food that is the real letdown.
Beijing is a city in which any given alley offers everything from noodle soups to savoury pancakes to fresh hot soy milk, and it is difficult to forgive Olympic caterers for reducing a culinary culture so rich and varied to a mushy blandness.
For those of us who live in Beijing, this dietary disaster is only a temporary privation — in a couple of days the Games will be over and we can once again eat three meals a day from three different regions of China if we so chose.
But it’s my colleagues from out of town who I feel sorry for. After several weeks in Beijing, many have had no chance to experience the pleasant surprise of biting into a soup-filled dumpling. They have not slurped the cilantro-spiced broth of a bowl of beef noodles or felt their tongues go numb from Sichuan peppers.
What a pity if they return home thinking chow mein and fried rice are the real deal.