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These Kids today - Elevating American-Chinese Takeout Food...or...This Isn't My Father's Takeout!


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The New York Times is calling it More Than Just "Takeout," in a current article exploring the virtues of American-Chinese takeout food.

 

One of the restaurants mentioned is even calling it its own regional cuisine (though don't tell some people!)...

 

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Nice Day’s website describes American Chinese food as “a wonderfully inventive and flavorful regional Chinese cuisine.”

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Chinese food’s evolution in America goes back more than 150 years, and can be traced to the first wave of immigration in the 19th century, when mostly Taishan men found work in the United States as laborers. After taxes aimed at foreign workers and violent attacks effectively barred many immigrants from holding jobs, some of them opened restaurants, offering humble stir-fries with no direct parallels in China, said Jennifer 8. Lee, the author of “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles,” a history of Chinese food in America. The cooking was improvisational, a means of survival rather than a point of pride. Dishes like moo goo gai pan and chop suey — which roughly translates to “odds and ends” — were the beginnings of a culinary tradition.

“The recipes that are American Chinese were created by people who were forced to cook for a living,” Ms. Lee said, “and they developed a series of dishes that served the American palate.” Many of the dishes followed a formula: a protein that was familiar to American eaters with quickly stir-fried vegetables, covered in a thick sauce and served with rice. The addition of bean sprouts, water chestnuts and baby corn provided texture, and was seen as an exciting novelty for non-Chinese eaters, Ms. Lee said.

 

 

Nice article (remember, I think you get a number of free articles a month from the Times).

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

The New York Times is calling it More Than Just "Takeout," in a current article exploring the virtues of American-Chinese takeout food.

 

One of the restaurants mentioned is even calling it its own regional cuisine (though don't tell some people!)...

 

 

Nice article (remember, I think you get a number of free articles a month from the Times).

Unfortunately your link is still behind a firewall for me. However it struck a chord with me because of this (not very well written or argued piece). Here.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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I don't see a problem.  Either something tastes good or it doesn't.  Italian American food is dissimilar to Italian dishes I've been served in Italy (or in prima classe, crossing on the old Italian Line*).  Or for that matter from what I read in Bugialli.

 

I've never been to China and I'll probably never get there.  Chinese restaurants here typically have two menus depending on whether you are a gringo or whether your granddaughter can plausibly order in Mandarin.  The gringo dishes can still be pretty good.

 

 

*sharing a table with the then wealthiest person in the world who thoughtfully ordered up our wines.  However I no longer eat brains.

 

 

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11 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I don't see a problem.  Either something tastes good or it doesn't. 

 

 

I don't know about 'own regional cuisine" but it can be enjoyable and a comfort food for many.  We've even discussed US regional variations on the egg roll sauces and the egg rolls themselves. 

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