(idea inspired by, and dedicated to, Nina W.)
It is a well documented fact that Jews in the United States have a voracious appetite for Chinese Food, particularly on Non-Jewish holidays. Jewish Young Adults in recent years have carved out their own preferential niche in the Asiatic culinary world. While any JYA would gladly join his/her parents for a night of General Tso’s, JYAs have developed a keen predilection for Dim Sum when dining with other JYAs in the absence of Jewish Adults or Jewish Elders.
All across the planet, at lunch time in the Chinatown districts of San Francisco, Toronto, London, or Tel Aviv, the streets are packed with ravenous people looking for a quick delectable break before returning to the cubicle. Closer inspection of the eateries in these urban districts reveals hidden Dim Sum establishments that JYAs would refer to as “hidden gems” but their parents would call “decrepit” or “in violation of the health code.” Even closer inspection of favored establishments, like Pings in New York, or The Old Place Seafood House in Oakland, reveals two types of diners: 90% Asians, and 10% JYAs, usually lining the smaller tables along the sides.
There are many theories why JYAs will spend hours poring over citysearch pages to find the most obscure and least trafficked Dim Sum restaurant in their city. One of the more credible hypotheses is that JYAs are keen to improve upon their parents’ interest in Chinese Food, effectively one-upping their ownership of Asian cuisine. Effectively, by opting for Dim Sum, JYAs can indulge their hereditary love of Chinese Food, while at the same time taking a rebellious ideological stance against Jewish Adults, by only eating Dim Sum with other JYAs and not inviting their parents. As an added bonus, Dim Sum is generally cheap enough that there is no reason to invite a parent and have them pay.
It is important to note that JYAs also refuse to share the locations of their favorite Dim Sum establishments with Non-Jews. If a Non-Jew expresses interest in lunching with a JYA at a Dim Sum establishment, the JYA will typically pick a location that is known for being touristy, and therefore less authentic and unique. Frequently, if a Non-Jew is going to be present for lunch, the JYA will change locations entirely. As San Francisco JYA “Debra” recently pointed out: “Hannah and I were going to go to Dol Ho, but then Mary wanted to come and I was like, there is no way I’m going to sit there and watch Mary only order the egg rolls again like last time, so Hannah and I took her to Olive Garden instead so she could be happy with her mayonnaise”.