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American Chinese Food Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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American Chinese Food

The Chinese immigrants who brought their cuisine to the US in the 19th century soon modified their cooking for Western tastes and ingredients. Today, "American Chinese food" differs greatly from authentic Chinese cuisine. One of the many differences is the types of vegetables used; Chinese cuisine relies on leafy greens like bok choy and gai-lan, while Americanized dishes often feature more readily available produce like broccoli and carrots. What is the origin of the fortune cookie? More...
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 3:42:51 AM

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Quote:
Jews and Chinese cuisine in New York City

... Jews felt more comfortable at these restaurants then they did at the Italian or German eateries that were prevalent during this time period.

You mean than! One of my many peeves, along with to/too mistakes. Oh & don't get me started on there/their/they're & your/you're. Come on TFD! Shame on you

Our Chinese food in Australia is a bit more authentic. It's still mostly westernised, but we've got daikon & bok choy. A favourite at take-away places is the dim sim, or 'dimmy', a deep-fried dumpling. The most popular dishes are sweet & sour pork, Szechuan chicken, Mongolian lamb, beef in black bean sauce & fried ice-cream. I didn't see any of these listed. No doubt Chinese people are scratching their heads in confusion.
excaelis
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 3:54:15 AM

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Hmm. Jews uncomfortable at German eateries.
excaelis
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 4:00:35 AM

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On topic, I hate when ethnic restaurants of any kind pander. While I understand that you have to make a living, broccoli and corn have no place in Chinese cuisine. Mind you, LRai and Romany will no doubt ( and rightfully so ) remind us that deep-fried scorpion probably won't send one's kids to uni in the west, so suck it up and eat your Szechuan zucchini.
GreenBanana
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 9:09:31 AM

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How come you only ever see the Chinese people in those establishments? Never the obviously-all-American, Texan-hat-wearing chefs that render the food "American".
L.Rai
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 9:53:02 AM

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excaelis wrote:
On topic, I hate when ethnic restaurants of any kind pander. While I understand that you have to make a living, broccoli and corn have no place in Chinese cuisine. Mind you, LRai and Romany will no doubt ( and rightfully so ) remind us that deep-fried scorpion probably won't send one's kids to uni in the west, so suck it up and eat your Szechuan zucchini.


_____________

Dear Excaelis:

I can't speak for Romany, but I have lived in the south and the north east of China. Cuisine here varies alot depending on where you are and what the specialty is for an area. When I lived in Guangdong Province, (where Guangzhou is) I discovered that nearly every small town had a local specialty item that they insisted you try. In Yangchun where I taught it was the way they made chicken. It was very good actually and done in a very simple way. The chicken was sort of boiled then it was halved and brought to the table chopped into bite size pieces. A dipping sauce was included that had soy sauce, ginger, peanut oil and scallions. It was really good.

Later I moved to Jilin Province and in the city where I work Changchun the specialty is eastern hot pot, a seasoned soup base that is kept cooking on a hot plate at your table. You then dump things you want into the broth and allow them to cook, then eat. The seasoned broth can be hot or mild and it usually contains ingredients that have some medicinal qualities. Well to be honest nearly every food in China is known to cure something.

In the south they prided themselves that anything that walked, crawled, flew, swam or moved at all was edible. The joke was that a person from Guangdong would eat anything with legs except a table or a chair. They also had my favorite food in the south dim sum. I grew up eating California dim sum but after living in China I can tell you there's no comparison. In the north my favorite dish is gou ba rou which is a northern Chinese version of sweet and sour pork but it's nothing like what you get in the States. What we call sweet and sour in California isn't even close.

As for the Jewish connection to Chinese food...well let me just say that it's more than food where we share a connection. There are so many similarities it's boggling. A little known fact is that there are Chinese Jews, no joke! They are from Kaifeng however they're only a handful of them left in China. They've been recognized by Israel as "real" Jews and given "right of return" so many of them have left China and gone to Israel.

I remember as a child having Christmas dinner in LA Chinatown. I also remember breaking Yom Kippur fast by eating Chinese food. I grew up thinking it was part of our religion. We also had a few Kosher Chinese places and at least one of them was owned by a Chinese person who had learned the laws of keeping Kosher.

Finally, we do have broccoli and corn in the north. Corn is actually a staple food here but it's awful. It's not like corn in the States as it's a variety that's very tough and starchy. I personally don't like it at all. The broccoli that is like what we have in the west is okay but I prefer the Chinese broccoli which is thinner and just tastes better. In the north another favorite dish is to cook eggs and tomatoes together then serve it over hot rice.

Oh, and the question about fortune cookies...those aren't even Chinese and the only way to read a Chinese fortune cookie is the put the words "in bed" at the end of whatever is written on the paper inside. Whistle
striker
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 10:16:03 AM
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msg not good
monamagda
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 11:05:19 AM

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Cracking Open the History of Fortune Cookies



The fortune cookie and its murky history is a recurring element in Jennifer 8. Lee's The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, an in-depth exploration of Chinese food in the Western world wherein she traces the beginnings of Chinese dining hallmarks such as home delivery and General Tso's Chicken in addition to exploring darker subjects such as how the Chinese restaurant industry dovetails with the human trafficking industry. But divining whence fortune cookies came required a lot of detective work that ultimately brought her to Yasuko Nakamatchi, a Japanese researcher who was able to cleave through decades of folklore and hearsay-based creation stories.

Fortune cookies are most likely of Japanese origin. In the course of her detective work, Nakamatchi came upon a handful of family-owned bakeries near a Shinto shrine in Kyoto who continued the local tradition of making tsujiura senbei ("fortune crackers"). Flavored with sesame and miso, the cookies are larger and browner than their American cousins, and the little paper fortunes are found on the outside, held in the cookie's little "arms." The clincher was an 1878 Japanese block print of a man preparing senbei using the same hand-operated cookie grills still used in the Kyoto bakeries. (Of course, at least for the American market, the manufacturing process is automated.)


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/cracking-open-the-history-of-fortune-cookies-28538557/#HZ0WZCKJf7LbTb75.99
Gary98
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 12:14:18 PM

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Joined: 7/23/2014
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LRai wrote:
excaelis wrote:
On topic, I hate when ethnic restaurants of any kind pander. While I understand that you have to make a living, broccoli and corn have no place in Chinese cuisine. Mind you, LRai and Romany will no doubt ( and rightfully so ) remind us that deep-fried scorpion probably won't send one's kids to uni in the west, so suck it up and eat your Szechuan zucchini.


_____________

Dear Excaelis:

I can't speak for Romany, but I have lived in the south and the north east of China. Cuisine here varies alot depending on where you are and what the specialty is for an area. When I lived in Guangdong Province, (where Guangzhou is) I discovered that nearly every small town had a local specialty item that they insisted you try. In Yangchun where I taught it was the way they made chicken. It was very good actually and done in a very simple way. The chicken was sort of boiled then it was halved and brought to the table chopped into bite size pieces. A dipping sauce was included that had soy sauce, ginger, peanut oil and scallions. It was really good.

Later I moved to Jilin Province and in the city where I work Changchun the specialty is eastern hot pot, a seasoned soup base that is kept cooking on a hot plate at your table. You then dump things you want into the broth and allow them to cook, then eat. The seasoned broth can be hot or mild and it usually contains ingredients that have some medicinal qualities. Well to be honest nearly every food in China is known to cure something.

In the south they prided themselves that anything that walked, crawled, flew, swam or moved at all was edible. The joke was that a person from Guangdong would eat anything with legs except a table or a chair. They also had my favorite food in the south dim sum. I grew up eating California dim sum but after living in China I can tell you there's no comparison. In the north my favorite dish is gou ba rou which is a northern Chinese version of sweet and sour pork but it's nothing like what you get in the States. What we call sweet and sour in California isn't even close.

As for the Jewish connection to Chinese food...well let me just say that it's more than food where we share a connection. There are so many similarities it's boggling. A little known fact is that there are Chinese Jews, no joke! They are from Kaifeng however they're only a handful of them left in China. They've been recognized by Israel as "real" Jews and given "right of return" so many of them have left China and gone to Israel.

I remember as a child having Christmas dinner in LA Chinatown. I also remember breaking Yom Kippur fast by eating Chinese food. I grew up thinking it was part of our religion. We also had a few Kosher Chinese places and at least one of them was owned by a Chinese person who had learned the laws of keeping Kosher.

Finally, we do have broccoli and corn in the north. Corn is actually a staple food here but it's awful. It's not like corn in the States as it's a variety that's very tough and starchy. I personally don't like it at all. The broccoli that is like what we have in the west is okay but I prefer the Chinese broccoli which is thinner and just tastes better. In the north another favorite dish is to cook eggs and tomatoes together then serve it over hot rice.

Oh, and the question about fortune cookies...those aren't even Chinese and the only way to read a Chinese fortune cookie is the put the words "in bed" at the end of whatever is written on the paper inside. Whistle


Bingo. There is no such a thing as "Chinese food", as in single systematic Chinese food. In China there are eight main series of cuisines, and several minor ones. As LRai has rightfully pointed out, they are quite different. I spent twenty eight years there, and unfortunately have not gone through half of their cuisines.

As for what are the ingredients of "Chinese food", Chinese have a saying that they eat all that flies except planes, all that have legs except desks. Drool
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 2:37:34 PM

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I eat and cook a considerable amount of Chinese food/dishes and have employed their techniques to other cooking, as well. Having lived in NYC for close to 20 years, there they were able to hold more closely to their traditional cooking, I believe. In any case their cooking is way more healthy for people & I thank them for that...
Omar Mariani
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 6:17:57 PM

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Location: Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
FORTUNE cookies originated in California, invented by Americans in California; they are certainly not Chinese
TB Turtle
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 11:16:27 PM

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Joined: 8/27/2014
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Location: Portland, Maine, United States
I love the post of LRai and Gary98. Very informative.

In America finding authentic food is easy. Go to the Russian, Irish, Chinese....whatever neighborhood, restaurant of the 'Locals' and or their grocery store and it will undoubtedly be authentic and tasty.
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