Saturday, October 4, 2008

Short History of the Chinese Restaurant

Fascinating article looks at the development of Chinese restaurants in America, inspired by a past exhibit at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas.

Here's a sampling to give you a taste:
Chinese eateries in America, known as "chow chows," which sprang up in California in the mid-19th century to serve Cantonese laborers. True holes in the wall, they were marked, as per a Chinese tradition, with yellow cloth triangles. No menus have survived, if ever there were any; who knows but that they served stir-fried buffalo.
...
Would anyone have bet the bank on Chinese food back then? According to Chinese Restaurant News, there are now more Chinese restaurants in America than there are McDonald's franchises—nearly three times as many in fact.
Read the article here.

3 comments:

American Ghost said...

They are firmly entrenched in our infrastructure. once the "red flag" goes up so to speak, it will be over for the west.

Ready Go said...

It kind of appears that way. But I think by the time people are 2nd and 3rd generation Americans, of which there are many--since, after all, people of Chinese ancestry celebrate well over 100 years in the country--loose their (political) ties w/ their ancestral land. Not unlike most ethnic groups in this country. However, negative stereotypes based on physical appearances could act like a speed-bump in the acculturation process.

Brian Buetow said...

Your blog page looks awesome. There is so much information about your culture. Enjoyed reading it.