Time Out London's exploding xiao long bao video, the ensuing uproar, and the apology

Thanks to @augustiner for mentioning Time Out London’s xiao long bay incident in a post today. I missed the video when it came out a few days ago.

First, the video from TIme Out London. Close your eyes if you are a XLB lover: :scream::scream::scream::scream::scream::sob::sob::sob::sob::sob:

Inevitably with a video like that, an uproar from the food loving world ensued.

Finally, the apology from Time Out London.

‘Secondly, we’d like to invite the knowledgeable food-lovers of China and Asia to tell us what traditional delicacies we Londoners should try - and how to eat them properly.’

Surely there must be a few hundred thousand Londoners who know how to eat a xiao long bao, including probably half the dining room who ordered XLB at Dumplings Legend that day? There is enough appetite for Din Tai Fung to open a branch in London in a couple of months! And you guys are Time Out London!!!

Someone online mentioned that its like peeling all the batter off from the fish in fish and chips.

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I suspect these sorts of things are the result of a new wave of writers, who cut their teeth on blogs etc, now joining the more established media. Their knowledge doesn’t seem that deep but they exude the confidence and expertise.

Here in Sydney we have the annual Good Food Guide. This year the editor wrote an editorial entitled “No toast of the town” complaining about restaurants not serving toast with their steak tartare, and then emphasised the point in numerous reviews.

Maybe I am odd but I expect frites and some fresh baguette with mine…its not breakfast.

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I used to get bent out of shape with these things - in fact I’ve cut so far back on my internet reading it is insane (or insane to a younger generation LOL).

I now just think (similar to what PhilD said) that I’m just getting too old and the people writing are just so young. At 22, 23, 24 y.o. you just don’t realize how young you are and how much world is out there, and the kids are writing most of the crap on the internet. At that young age you’re still having so many first experiences, everything seems like you’ve discovered a new thing and you’re not old enough to have any perspective on your small role in the world. You’re just a bull in a china shop still.

Their “knowledge” is a function of the questions they ask and their understanding of the answers they hear or information they find. The Internet’s indiscriminate accessibility to “information” and instant publication of opinion likely promote the erosion of critical thinking and thoughtful research skills. Gutenberg made everyone a reader; the copy machine everyone a publisher; the fax eveyone a propagandist; and the Internet everyone an " expert".

I guess I am getting old. I hadn’t even considered that there might be effect from generational difference

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold