After my preschool kung fu classes I went to go eat Fau Yuk. I think it was actually Adriana's post on the subject that induced a craving for it. I went into Chinatown Cafe, because it's the closest and it has just been my go to place for so long based on location to the old Kung Fu school and went into order.
Man all these old people were ordering Fau Yuk let and right. JUST fau yuk. My guess is for the Harvest Moon's festival dinner. I mean this was lunch time and hardly anyone was ordering lunch... or ordering things other than Fau Yuk. The cash register woman was actually looking nervous. I was worried I was going to haveto have Char Siu instead of Fau Yuk. There was all this Roast Duck up there and one guy was like, "Want to just get Fau Ngap (roast Duck) if they run out of Fau Yuk (Roast Pork)?"
Also, there was something strange about the crowd. It was simultaneously busy and quiet. This is bizarre for a room full of Taishanese people.. unless somehow the culture has suddenly changed.
I thought about this while quietly eating my Fau Yuk over rice. Maybe it was just that everyone was either eating their food, or taking the chopped up meat directly home.
The Americans were not ordering Fau Yuk, but fried rice and things like that, which take longer because someone has to actually cook it. Where as the Fau Nguk, the Char siu. the Siu lap which is called Barbecue Cold cuts in English, is right there already cooked. They just take it down and chop it and put it over rice. Well actually there is a layer of Napa vegetable in between.
Thinking about it I guess that Napa protects the rice from getting soggy, plus you get some vegetables.
But actually I heard that it's a Taishanese rule that you can't just have rice by itself, bad luck or something, so that sometimes you have a tiny slice of vegetable in your white rice if you are following village rules... which most people don't follow, so it's if the person doing the work is superstitious like that. I had only heard this once. Maybe it's BS.
But in any case, the Cold cuts are the fastest food there is. Chop Chop Chop. Done.
I thought about why there was so much duck hanging up there. And I thought about how usually you don't see Americans order duck...
But my Uncle, who was white and very American went right for it we he came up to Boston to visit.....
more on that next time.