Well, for any of you who’ve ever pondered this you are not alone. Jennifer 8. Lee (yes her middle name is 8 ) has written a very informative and fascinating book about this and many of our favorite “Chinese” (a.k.a American) foods called The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food.
Each chapter focuses on a different dish (did you know that General Tso was a real general?) The author delves into the history, culture, circumstances, and lore surrounding them (or that chop suey first appeared in the U.S. during the 19th century?)
If you love Chinese food (who doesn’t, right?), history, sociology, and travel this is the book for you! It’s an entertaining and quick read, and you can even skip around from chapter to chapter if you’d like. One more factoid, before I go: There are more Chinese restaurants in this country than McDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken combined. Now how’s THAT for American cuisine?
WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS BOOK WHILE HUNGRY (and be sure to keep a few takeout menus on hand, just in case you get hungry :0)