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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Chinese Food

Stir frying originated in the Chinese Zhou dynasty (1046 BC–256 BC) when the country faced a fuel shortage. The speedy method of stir frying was used to preserve energy.

For the first time in around 250 BC, the Chinese began grinding wheat into flour with a grindstone, instead of cooking it whole. They mixed the flour with water to make a dough, which they steamed and boiled. From the mixture they made buns, dumplings, noodles, thin pancakes and steamed breads, calling them all ping.

When the new Chinese ambassador to the United States, Li Hung-Chang, arrived in New York in 1896 with a large staff including three cooks, he was determined to impress the Americans with the values of Chinese culture and cuisine, so he gave a dinner party to which he invited distinguished members of both the American and Chinese communities. To make the event memorable, he instructed his chefs to include in the menu an entirely new course which would appeal equally to western and eastern palates. The result was a mixture of chopped bean sprouts, celery and meat in a soy sauce, all finely cut up and served under the name of Chop suey, the English "chop" combined with Chinese "bits," spelled phonetically suey.

London’s first Chinese restaurant opened in 1908 in Glasshouse Street, Piccadilly Circus It was called ‘The Chinese Restaurant’.

John Koon's Lotus House at Bayswater, London, became Britain's first Chinese takeaway in 1958.

In America the 1965 Immigration Act opened the doors to millions of Asians and was responsible for the many exotic Chinese restaurants that sprung up even in white American neighborhoods.

Although the packaging was inspired by Japanese origami, the Chinese takeout boxes with the pagoda on them were created by Americans. They were originally designed to hold oysters.

There are more Chinese restaurants in the United States than McDonald's, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Wendy's, combined.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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