In a legal battle reminiscent of the right to call sparkling wine ‘champagne’, Chinese traders are appealing to the WTO, and anyone else who will listen, that what is being sold world-wide as Chinese food, isn’t.
The head of the China Trade Commission asserted: “Only food actually made according to accredited Chinese recipes can be called ‘Chinese Cuisine’. All others must be called Chinese-style, and carry disclaimers.”
‘Chinese’ cuisine has really become a top seller all over the world. In the US alone there are more than 50,000 Chinese restaurants, more than all KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King franchise outlets combined.
The reality is that the sweet sauce-coated and deep-fried dishes sold in the west, are nothing like the real ‘Chinese food’ – and far less healthy.
It is expected that Congress will accede to Chinese claims due to the enormous financial muscle that China currently exerts over the US economy.
Even the staple ‘Fortune Cookie’ is not Chinese but was imported to the US from Japan.
The Indian delegation were next to jump on the band wagon, calling for a global ban on the use of the word ‘curry’ unless an appropriate license fee could be negotiated. “After all,” spat the Indian Commissioner, “Britain’s favorite dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, claims to be Indian, but isn’t. It tastes Indonesian!”
In the UK there is a fear that Indian restaurants may be targeted next. They are often accused of selling ‘Anglicized Curry’ and the economic impact would be substantial. There are more people employed by Indian restaurants than the entire UK manufacturing industry.
All industries are having to scrutinize words that they thought were ‘public property’. Fast-food diners are likely be confused for a whole generation.