Hong Kong dessert cafes that offers the kind of delectables seen in the picture above to the sweet cravings of the young Asian populous. Every time I pass by one of these establishments during the wee hours of the night, I am sure to find throngs of Asians in their twenties or late teens stationed inside, enjoying a night snack (what we Cantonese speaking Chinese people call 燒夜 “siew yeh.”)
Now I am not going to go on a diatribe about the health detriments of eating carbs and sweets late in the night, because I myself have partaken in the patronage of these dessert places. Quite honestly they are not all that terrible because I would be eating the same kind of dessert at home. My mother makes practically the same thing, though any desserts related to fruit certainly will not have the presentation panache those dessert places offers. I mean what is the point? Here is a mango, peel it and eat it. I am not going to cut it up all nice into uniform cubes just for the sake of vanity when I know I will just down it within one minute anyways.
So what am I on about?
I am on about how it all looks to those on the outside. It is a widely known stereotype that the Asian gene carries these benefits: looking younger than we really are (until one hit that proverbial wall and then it goes downhill really quick) and having a metabolism so insane that we can eat whatever and still manage to stay thin (my condolences to Asians that are not blessed with the latter.) It is easy to see why there would be some resentment from non-Asian people, because isn’t staying young looking and eating whatever you want, without any consequences, the holy grail? I’m surprised they haven’t locate the specific trait in the Asian gene and turn it into a magic bullet pill for aging and weight gain just yet.
Asians eating at these HK style dessert places late into the night is just another taunt and slap in the face to those that are not blessed with such desirable genes. It is a “come at me bro” declaration to the populist health propaganda that you shouldn’t eat carbs and sugar, and definitely not after the hours of 6pm. A taunt that says we have evolved the stomach enzymes to break down these supposedly horrible things known as carbs because our ancestors have been eating rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the past three thousand years.
So while other Asian stereotypes may have us as docile, sexually impotent (or subservient if you are a female) nerds that knows martial arts and speaks with a weird accent, at least we can still have our cake, and eat it too.