KEEPIN’ IT REAL, CUISINE STYLE

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Greg Hudson

Arts and Life Editor

Embedded in the downtown core, Ryerson students have countless culinary choices when they get the munchies.

But with all the options, it seems that we frequent the same places over and over. Salad King is good and all, but there’s so much more out there.

Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world — that’s right, the world. And Ryerson is at the epicentre of that diversity.

But to see our eating habits, you would think that there are only three cultures in Canada: Americanized Thai, Americanized shwarma, and whatever you can find at Dominion for less than five bucks.

I guess that would be what, Canadian? But just because Ryerson is selling out to corporations doesn’t mean our taste buds have to.

We can forego the safe choices, the processed and packaged, the food courts and chains.

There are restaurants within blocks that are so authentic they hurt, and that’s what Toronto should be about.

Take Home of the Hot-Taste, which sounds more like a subtitle than a real brand. Like it should be, “Korea Town: the home of the hot-taste.”

The logo should have tipped me off. Right there on the front of the restaurant was the image of an anthropomorphized red pepper, running away from a burst of flame, with a tear in its eye. I would later learn, if the pepper is crying, your mouth will be dying.

The menu is a lesson in how not to use the Internet to translate.

I quote: “To briefly introduce about ‘home of the Hot-taste’ Company, it is originally from Korea and has around 200 franchisees [sic] in Korea. This is the first brance operating in Canada.”

With all that Korean experience, the franchise knows its market. And a suburban white kid isn’t it. Thinking of all the translation problems on the menu, when I ordered Blazing Fire Chicken I figured it was at least a little bit of an exaggeration. It wasn’t.

As Satan as my witness, this was the hottest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Somewhere, information is being obtained by shady government agents by forcing prisoners to ingest these nuggets of magma-drenched poultry bits.

It wasn’t until after the meal, tongue-swollen and brow sweaty, that I read on the menu that I went through all that pain unnecessarily. “In order to balance between our culture’s hot taste food Canadian’s mild taste, we have our specially chosen sub-menu.”

As sad as I was that I had missed that elusive sub-menu, I realized that ordering from it would defeat the purpose of having restaurants like that. I tasted “know-how peppery delicious sauce” of diversity, and it kicked my ass. But it also made me feel alive. That never happens at Quizno’s.

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