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McDonald's "Asian Salad"

As seen on my morning commute.

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Mr Taster

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        1. Someone is overly sensitive. And, fairly stupid, since I'm assuming the spray job was done when it was dark.

          On the salad, I tried it a few weeks ago and enjoyed most of it; only huge disapproval was how they coated the chicken with the dressing.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ediblover

            My wife is Taiwanese, and she always finds these "Chinese Chicken Salad" type offerings rather comical. Salads (or raw vegetables of any kind) are not a part of the Chinese diet-- they're almost always pan fried.

            Having said that, I think the "harmony" in the ad copy just barely touches upon a Charlie Chan Chinesey-ness that makes me cringe ever so slightly. But at least they didn't go off the deep end like they did in this Jell-O spot from the 1960's. (Ad agencies have learned a few lessons over the years.)


            Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                My impression with "harmony" was that it's just one of those key words, in a book filled with key words, that the marketing folks used to send out a positive ad vibe. I didn't even think of it having a tone. My impression was that the "racist" part was motivated due to it being called "Asian." I doubt folks in the Southwest and South got upset over McDonald's Southwest salad or Southern chicken sandwich. And, I'm fairly certain that someone out there uses the term "European" and other regional terms to describe a food that's not quite what they eat in the region.

                It reminded me of another story. During MLK day a kitchen had a special menu featuring southern favorites like fried chicken and collards. A whole bunch of folks were "offended" and screaming racist. Little problem. The head chef and the decision maker was a female African-American.

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  I passed by this exact sign on Fairfax/6th the other day and gave it a hearty HA! And I also agree, more gimmicky than offensive.

              2. "Chinese" chicken salad is a thoroughly American creation -- a "fusion" of Asian spicing and ingredients with American "salad"-craziness. I hear "Asian" salad, and I think of some things: soy sauce, ginger, garlic, maybe crunchy noodles, maybe fresh bean sprouts, maybe mandarin (!) orange segments, maybe sesame oil or sesame seeds -- all or some paired with crunchy iceberg lettuce, slivered celery and carrots (which are also in "Asian" cuisine). (Don't forget about cukes,too -- I'd use them).

                Such salads have been popular with restaurants and American home cooks probably since the 1970s, I believe. I know that Richard Nixon's trip to China opened up Americans' culinary awareness to Asian food and culture. (Post-war American presence in Japan had similarly ushered into American society -- in a smaller way -- the food of Japan when troops returned home, often with Japanese brides.)

                As to McDonald's reference to "harmony" in the ad campaign for its Asian salad, isn't "harmony" a major principle in several religious faiths or the cultural norms that predominate in Asian nations?

                I'm not "Asian," but I fail to see how this is construed as offensive or wrong-headed as a concept or as an ad campaign for an American fast food chain.

                2 Replies
                1. re: alkapal

                  I think this subject matter comes under the rubric of "Breaking News: Sun Appears to Rise in East Again!" or "Tide Come In!" ;-D>

                  1. re: Servorg

                    yes, that sun is a pesky critter!