of food, novelists and philosophers occasionally do just that.
The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan (1989)
"But the worst was when Rich criticized my mother' cooking, and he didn't
even know what he had done. As in the Chinese cook's custom, my mother
always made disparaging remarks about her own cooking. That night she
chose to direct it toward her famous steamed pork and preserved vegetable
dish, which she always served with pride. 'Ai! this dish not salty enough,
no flavor,' she complained, after tasting one small bite. 'It is too bad
to eat.' This was our family's cue to eat some and proclaim it the best
she had ever made. But before we could do so, Rich said, 'You know, all
it needs is a little soy sauce.' And he proceeded to pour riverfuls of
the salty black stuff on the platter, right before my mother's horrified
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