Americanized Chinese Food that Was Not Created in Asia at All

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The "Chinese cuisine" known in America is definitely not what is known in China at all. These are so different from what the native Chinese are used to that it's an entire cuisine all to itself. That's Americanized Chinese food that was not created in Asia.

What you would find on the menu of a Chinese restaurant in America under the label of "Classic Chinese" isn't classic at all. These are translated foods with Westernized tastes that are palatable to the Americans in particular.

What traditional Chinese food is known for is the balance of the five main tastes - salty, sweet, sour, pungent, and bitter. "Classic" Chinese cooking is mostly sweet with touches of sour, a very traditional American taste instead! This is probably why one of the more favorite food choices is Sweet and Sour anything - crispy deep-fried pieces of pork or chicken smothered in sticky, thick, and gooey sauce.

There are original dishes from the mother country of course, but the changes and presentations are changed so that the new audience will find them delicious. It's also the way that the indigenous ingredients are integrated into the old style of cooking. It's a way that the new and the old blend and become acceptable to each other.

So, although General Cho never was as known for food as Colonel Sanders was, he nevertheless has a deep-fried chicken dish named after him in America, with a variation of the "classic" sauce all over it. And while the Chinese don't traditionally serve desserts, fortune cookies abound all over the Chinese restaurants in the U.S. Chop Suey especially, that ubiquitous dish of chopped vegetables and meats, is something that was not known outside the United States until after the First World War.

Chow Fun, or fried rice, isn't like what you get from the Chinese take-out at all. Chow Fun is white with chopped vegetables, scrambled egg, and chopped meat mixed into the white rice. The rice is never brown in China! What food historians think happened is that since Chinese railroad workers were forced into laundry and cooking jobs after their work in the railroad was done, they messed up the food they were paid to cook. Men didn't really know how to cook in those times, remember.

Chinese cooks were notoriously thrifty and these classic dishes were mostly ways of using up the leftovers of the previous meal or even the previous day. A story that has become an urban legend centers on a chow-chow or a Chinese restaurant that was besieged by a group of miners who got hungry late at night.

Since the cook had nothing fresh left to cook, he combined all the leftovers he had and mixed them up in a seasoned sauce. This was served to the miners who forever knew it afterward by the cook's name for it - "tsap seui" or chopped pieces. Some stories even go so far to translate it as "garbage bits!"

The favorite fried noodles or Chow Mein get softened with a topping of Chop Suey. Other concoctions such as barbecued spareribs, Beef with Broccoli, or Egg Foo Yung are also Americanized Chinese food. But many eaters don't really care about that. They just know that the dishes they are eating taste great.

Jamie Highland writes about events like baby showers and food topics. To check out some asian baby shower favors or other baby shower favors, visit My Baby Shower Favors. If you want more articles, visit our site and click on the Contact Us link.

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