“Don’t eat spicy food when you’re pregnant.”

Informant: April Voong
Nationality: Chinese
Primary Language: English; Other Language: Cantonese
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: San Diego

“Don’t eat spicy food when you’re pregnant.”
April has heard this saying among her family members since she was a child, and she later found out that they believed eating spicy food during pregnancy would result in the birth of a hot-tempered child.
Many Asian cultures place emphasis on the type of food one must eat during pregnancy, since certain foods are considered to have qualities that influence the personality of the baby. In the case of April’s family, spicy food was believed to be the cause of short tempers; since the food itself is spicy, all the heat and sharpness of taste would be transferred over to the baby’s personality.