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Odds and Ends
America's food confusion
13 5, 1:03am
I had a good friend who grew up in Hong Kong, who could never quite grasp that what we call "Chinese food" is a part of American cuisine, and is not intended to be authentic Chinese cuisine. In Chinese restaurants, he'd constantly complain that "we don't cook it this way, we don't serve it that way, we don't have anything like that one in China", and sometimes I'd be ready to tell him to take a slow boat.
Chinese restaurants (and laundries, btw) in America got started as support establishments for the men who emigrated to the U.S. to work on the railroad and who had little in the way of bachelor-living skills. At some point, it became fashionable for middle-class Anglos to dine at these exotic places, and the Chinese realized that these could be business enterprises in themselves; and over the years they altered their recipes or created new ones to suit the American palate.