Crossing the Borders of Cuisine or Who Is General Tso Anyway?

NYTimes reporter Jennifer 8. Lee talks about her culinary mission for the origins of familiar Chinese-American dishes, that in many cases aren’t really either one and in others have combined to form a new cuisine.

Let me present the question to you: If our benchmark for Americanness is apple pie, you should ask yourself, how often do you eat apple pie, versus how often do you eat Chinese food..If you think about it, a lot of the foods that Americans think of as Chinese food are barely recognizable to Chinese. For example, I took a whole bunch of fortune cookies back to China, gave them to Chinese to see how they would react.

What is this? Should I try it? Try it! What is it called? Fortune cookie. There’s a piece of paper inside! What is this? You’ve won a prize! What is this? It’s a fortune! Tasty!

So, where are they from? The short answer is, actually, they’re from Japan.

Watch the video for an educational and amusing 16 minutes.

One thought on “Crossing the Borders of Cuisine or Who Is General Tso Anyway?

  1. That is absolutely true. I worked two years in China and I can assure you that the food of the western Chinese restaurants has nothing to do with Chinese food. Not only fortune cookies (invented in California –not Japan- by either David Jung, a Chinese immigrant living in Los Angeles or in San Francisco by a Japanese immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara) but also “chop suey” and their flagship “spring rolls”. All them unknown in China.
    -Noodle soup with beef.
    -Beef, yes.
    You get three-delice fried rice…
    -Sorry, this is not noodle soup with beef…
    -Beef, yes.
    -Are you an asshole?
    -Asshole, yes. 🙂

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