Showing Tag: "li" (Show all posts)

The Chop Suey Mystique

Posted by John Jung on Monday, December 1, 2014, In : Chinese food 
Chop Suey: Its Rise and Fall

In 1898, China Viceroy Li Huang Chang came to the U. S. on a diplomatic mission.  In New York and Philadelphia  he was feted and  large crowds welcomed him like a conquering hero.  It was during this trip that the story that one evening the diplomat wanted Chinese food instead of the typical American banquet fare.  Legend has it that a Chinese chef had to improvise since he was given short notice so he could only toss together left over vegetable cuttings from the ...

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Chop Suey Sandwich, Anyone?

Posted by John Jung on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, In : Chinese food 
Chop suey was once the rage for diners across the land but has long fallen out of favor.  A sandwich 'variant,'  however, that was found in parts of New England still seems to be a regional favorite, along with its cousin, the chow mein sandwich.


 
According to Wikipedia,
"
Originating in Fall River, Massachusetts, in the 1930s or 1940s, the chow mein sandwich, which typically consists of a hamburger-style bun with a brown gravy-based chow mein mixture placed between and served hot, is popular o...

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Chinese Food Authenticity As Flexible, Not Fixed

Posted by John Jung on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, In : Chinese food 
      Aficionados of Chinese, or for that matter, any cuisine obsess over the authenticity of a dish, as if this aspect was a guarantee of its gustatory delight.  Authenticity is revered as an inherent and immutable property of a dish. Yet.just as any language is not pure or fixed, but forever changing, such is true for food. 
      The studies of Chinese food in America by historian Haiming Liu provide an excellent illustration of what he calls 'flexible authenticity.' He notes that in the 19...

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Study of Chinese Impact on Small Town Canadian Culture Via Chinese Cafe Menus

Posted by John Jung on Saturday, March 31, 2012, In : Chinese restaurants 
  

A recent book published by Lily Cho, a Chinese Canadian professor of English, Eating Chinese: Culture on the Menu in Small Town Canada, examines the impact of Chinese Canadian cafes across the small prairie towns on their communities by analyzing the content of their menus! The fact that her father opened such a cafe in the Yukon despite never having previously worked as a cook led her to analyze the role that these community gathering places played in their communities. Despite decades of ...
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Whatever happened to stainless steel serving dishes in Chinese restaurants?

Posted by John Jung on Tuesday, July 12, 2011,
 Serving dishes like the one I am holding were commonly found in Chinese restaurants of a generation ago. What they lacked in "oriental" or "Chinese-y" decoration, these minimalist but clean designs by F. S. Louie Co. of Berkeley made up for by keeping your food hot over the entire meal.

At a book talk I gave in San Francisco this June to the Culinary Historians of Northern California at the small but charming Omnivore Bookstore, I was completely surprised by appearance of my friends, J...

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"Authenticity" ... applied to Vietnamese Food

Posted by John Jung on Friday, June 24, 2011, In : Culture and cuisine 
Aliette de Bodard, a Vietnamese-French award winning sci-fi and fantasy author, made some valid points on the question of what constitutes 'authentic' food on her blog. These excerpts give you the flavor, pun intended, of her observations:

"What makes an authentic recipe? What is and is not an acceptable variant? [1] How should a cuisine as a whole be judged? Because truth is, like cultures, cuisines merge and adapt, and evolve. Sometimes, they adapt because they don’t have basic ingredi...
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Chinese Family Restaurants "Down Under"

Posted by John Jung on Tuesday, May 10, 2011,
The story of the Chinese family restaurants outside of North America is remarkably similar in other parts of the world where the Chinese diaspora of the mid to late 19th century spread. 
Barbara Nichol has written about the history of Chinese restaurants in Melbourne, Australia from 1830-1950. "The restaurant industry was central to the way many in the Chinese community supported themselves and their families back in China over the early decades. Return visits home and the opportunity to de...
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A 5 Star Chinese Restaurant in rural Hanford, Ca.

Posted by John Jung on Thursday, January 6, 2011, In : Chinese restaurants 
    One of the most unusual success stories among Chinese restaurants is that of the Imperial Dynasty restaurant opened by Richard Wing after WW II in a most unlikely place, Hanford, Ca., which is about half way between Los Angeles and Sacramento and not even located on the main north-south highway.  It was not your typical chop suey joint; in fact, some would say it wasn't really a Chinese restaurant so much as it was a forerunner of 'Chinoise" cuisine, Chinese food with a French accent.
    ...
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Sweet & Sour Talk at Cerritos Public Library, Oct. 2010

Posted by John Jung on Saturday, November 6, 2010, In : Book talks 
Within walking (well, almost) of my house, the Cerritos Library is not only convenient but also a dream come true of an attractive and functional library. It was my second presentation to a lively and supportive audience.

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About Me


John Jung After retiring from a 40-year career as a psychology professor, I published 4 books about Chinese immigrants that detail the history of their laundries, grocery stores, and family restaurants in the U. S. and Canada.
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