Usual Tastes

Dear J—

It’s funny how your tastebuds will decide that’s what’s right for the rest of your life, and they’ll have the final word on it, too. I went to Chef Chu’s a couple of weeks ago and ordered the almond chicken, which I expected to come as it did in Cheney: breaded, fried and covered in a gray-brown gravy and topped with crushed almonds. Nope. I got grilled chicken (boiled, almost) in a light cornstarch reduction topped with sliced almonds. When your body is expecting one thing and getting another then you don’t know what to say.

In a way I suppose it’s fine; there’s no problem, necessarily, with having something else or wanting something else, for that matter, and the food was still good. But at the same time I don’t think there’s quite anywhere else in the world that makes an almond chicken like Chinese Gardens in Cheney, and even that’s doubtful now that the ownership has changed hands. [I don’t know what the menu is like now, since I haven’t eaten there since I was in high school]. Would I have known perhaps I would have eaten more when I had the chance. As it is perhaps there’s a few thousand souls who now miss it, or not. It’s definitely an Americanized dish, but the question is to what degree, and what that might say about me.

Mike

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