Created by a British comedy troupe, this parody shot in the epic style of CCTV’s A Bite of China series, lampoons both UK cuisine and Chinese attitudes towards it, joking about how many Chinese believe it all “boils” down to the potato. The video has gone viral on Chinese social media channels, where many have misinterpreted the show as solely mocking British cuisine. SCMP reports:
Creators Stuart Wiggin and Wu Tong, the host and the producer of China Radio International’s C4 comedy show, said while they wanted to gently mock the food tastes of the UK, they were also satirising China’s ignorance about British food, and about the dearth of available information about the cuisine.
C4 airs weekly on the CRI website and is shared on Youku, China’s equivalent of YouTube. The A Taste of Britain clip has been viewed more than 663,000 times as of this morning – the programme’s most-watched episode – since being uploaded on Tuesday.
However, some mainland netizens took the piece at face value, launching a tirade against the UK’s supposedly limited diet. A reporter surnamed Lin in Fujian province told the Post about her “potato nightmare” in 2007, when she was staying in Salisbury, about an hour’s drive from London.
“I had so much [potato] that month that I tried to keep away from all dishes with potatoes in them when I got back home,” Lin said.For her farewell, she said her host family took her to the best restaurant in town for an expensive dinner. “[We had] saltless steamed pork and beans,” she said. “And I could not wait any longer to fly back home.”
Meanwhile, on Sina Weibo, a photo of fish ‘n’ chips captioned “A Bite of Britain. End.” went viral, drawing 6,000 comments and 30,000 reposts within days. It was posted by a sport commentator on the talkSPORT radio channel.
Said Wiggin. “In China, it’s hard to do satire. [The show] is as satirical as it can be on Chinese state media. We do manage to say quite a lot.”
In other words, if you’re going to satirize China on State Media, you have to camouflage your criticism with a good “decoy meaning” that’ll appeal to the masses. Well played sirs.