Americans absolutely horrified by what Brits call Chinese takeaway

There are lots of differences between the US and the UK (like how British people spell things correctly and have national healthcare, for example) — and when it comes to takeout (or takeaway, as we call it), the countries' starkly different approaches have proven divisive.
For reasons I can't explain (but an algorithm could), Americans on TikTok are suddenly learning about the British Chinese takeaway, and they are equal parts outraged and disgusted. From my research, they seem to be most upset by the inclusion of chips (read: fries) and what we call "chicken balls" on people's plates, and the controversy has spilled over from TikTok into Twitter — where "British Chinese" was, for a time, trending.

If you haven't seen them already, below are a few examples of the takeaways in question. Brace yourself.

As Digg's resident Brit, I feel I have a duty to clear things up — but before I do, first enjoy Americans reacting to the grand British institution that is "getting a Chinese."

Confused? Horrified? Angry? Don't worry, I'll explain.

Firstly, the name. A lot of people have taken issue with the UK calling Chinese food "a Chinese."

I appreciate that, given Britain's track record of being extremely racist, this might sound off to non-Brits — but there's nothing sinister going on here. As one TikToker explains, "we're a lazy nation," and we're just omitting the word "takeaway" from the end. There's another useful explanation below.

Now, the food. It doesn't look all that appetizing, I'll give you that, and I would personally never drench my food in sweet and sour sauce — but the other items have their place.

Chips, while obviously not traditional, are glorious, and probably earned their spot on the plate due to Chinese takeaway restaurants' often doubling up as fish and chip shops here in the UK. Also, Chinese salt and pepper dishes aren't literally seasoned with salt and pepper alone; it's a mixture of those two things, along with five spice, chilli and sugar. It's totally delicious and I want to eat it on everything until I die.

Next: curry sauce. It's delicious, and tastes good poured over everything. Explanation complete.

I do, however, hear and understand Americans' concerns about chicken balls: those pieces of chicken covered entirely in batter and deep-fried beyond recognition. Yes, they sound and look a bit gross, and they aren't the healthiest item on the menu, but they do taste great — and that's what getting a takeaway is all about, guys!

The key to success in serving another country's cuisine is not to convince an entire nation of its authenticity, but to offer customers a variation of the food they already desired.

After all, similar situations have already occurred in the United States, such as with the popularity of Chinese fast food chain Panda Express, and in many other places where chefs create dishes that cater to the preferences of the local clientele.

In short, this is a common practice wherever food is being prepared for a living.

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