Fred Wah

Topics: Culture, Chinese cuisine, Identity Pages: 2 (806 words) Published: February 6, 2014
Food is a way that people come together and celebrate their family and culture. Food gets people talking and in some ways food is a part of people’s identity. In Fred Wah’s bio text Diamond Grill the theme of food is used to describe Wah’s connection to food and his confusion with his identity, this is shown in a passage on page 67. Throughout this piece of literature Canadian and Chinese food is described in a culinary language but is shown in a deeper meaning. Fred Wah as well has subjectivity towards food and shows the passion he has for it through his writing.

In this passage Fred Wah explains how Lo Bok comes back into his life. Throughout Wah’s bio text food has been a way to show the reader his connection and confusion with identity and culture. An example of this is “For years after leaving home I’ve had a craving for some Chinese food taste that I haven’t been able to pin down. An absence that gnaws at sensation and memory” (Wah 67). This quote shows how Fred Wah is trying to find where he belongs in the world. It also shows by the word “absence” that he has lost a part of himself because he does not eat as much Chinese as he does with Canadian food, he is stuck between two cultures. Different ingredients from different cultures can have a big significance in someone’s connection with their self and family. This continues the theme of food throughout Diamond Grill. For example “I’ve offended his pride in the food he prepares for us. Ginger becomes the site of an implicit racial qualification” (Wah 11). This shows that Wah connects food to identity as the taste of ginger determines belonging, if you eat ginger you are Chinese. Another example is with the passage on page 67 “You can use a little onion if you want to (my mother doesn’t) (Wah 67) .This shows that Wah’s mother (who is Swedish) does not add onion because adding onion to Lo Bok is not right for the cultural dish of Chinese. The onion in this passage acts as the hyphen between the two...
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