The earliest Chinese were peasant stock, and their food, considered disgusting by whites, did not make their restaurants or 'fan deem' attractive to non-Chinese.  Much ridicule was heaped upon the Chinese and their food preferences which were quite foreign to non-Chinese.  It was not until whites became fascinated by news of a dish called "chop suey" that suddenly Chinese restaurants became popular, especially among well-to-do whites who regarded it daring to go 'slumming' and eat in Chinatowns of New York and San Francisco.  Before long, chop suey became the rage, and middle class housewives sought recipes for making the dish at home themselves.  They were not that successful, but soon entrepreneurs were marketing canned versions of chop suey for home consumption.