My worst travel faux pas: AMA #6

Plus, the truth about MSG.

Feb 25, 2022

Ask me anything.

I loved this week’s questions— It’s always fun to look back on your most cringe-worthy moments (that’s sarcasm, but really, I did love the question). I revisit my most embarrassing moments all the time when I can’t seem to fall asleep. Why do we do this to ourselves???

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Here are this week’s questions, answered in the above video:

Regina K

Hi Andrew! Will you tell us about a possibly embarrassing experience where you have been in a different country and didn't quite know the customary way to eat or drink something? Did you handle your food incorrectly? Did you do it in the wrong order? Were you facing the wrong direction? We are all learning! Thank you!

I’m concerned with eating healthy, but it feels like foods that are shit for you are always so appetizing. Any pointers on healthy (preferably not so expensive) ways to liven/elevate a dish? I need to stop adding butter to everything. Thank you!

Here’s the vinegars I talked about: Huilerie Beaujolaise

Thoughts on the so-called “danger” of MSG:

By the way, to everyone else about to eviscerate me in the comments regarding my thoughts on MSG: Read this recap from the good folks at Tasting Table. I’m not gonna link you to an academic journal; I don’t want you to die of boredom.

An excerpt from the piece:

MSG's bad reputation in the U.S. can be traced back to a letter published in the "New England Journal of Medicine" in 1968. In it, a reader claiming to be a Dr. Robert Ho Man Kwok wrote that eating in Chinese-American restaurants gave him palpitations and numbness… He didn't engage in any scientific study of these symptoms, but he hypothesized that they might be related to oversalted food, liberal use of cooking wine, or MSG. The public latched on to MSG as a bogeyman, and the racist term "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" was born. Although MSG was (and is) quite commonly used in foods that Americans regularly eat, Chinese food was singled out as dangerous.

The FDA classifies MSG as "generally recognized as safe," and it's eaten regularly by a huge percentage of the world's population (including Americans, though many don't know it). There's no evidence that dietary MSG has any negative health effects.

So there you have it. MSG it up, folks!

Want to me answer your questions next week? Drop them in the comments!

When I say ask me anything, I really mean anything. Get creative, thought-provoking, or just plain weird with your questions— guarantee those are the things I’m mostly likely to answer.

Have a great weekend! -AZ