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Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America. YONG CHEN question that unavoidably arises from the ubiquity of Chinese food in the United States. Chen (History/Univ. of California, Irvine; Chinese San Francisco, A Trans-Pacific Community, ) shows how enterprising. Two new books, one by Yong Chen and the other by Q. Edward Wang, trace the evolution of Chinese foodways over time and place.

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Phong Ho rated it liked it Feb uong, Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

Chinese food for Jewish Americans was a mode of rebellion against strict kosher rules, and then permeated family dinners and Jewish cookbooks chap. Some of the other reviews are spot on. Chinese food is one of the most popular cuisines, if not the favorite, in the United States today. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Chinese restaurants succeeded in places across the country where there were few, if any, Chinese residents because they had low prices, adapted their recipes to satisfy the palates of non-Chinese, offered delivery and takeout service, had kitchens visible to customers, provided dance floors in the dining room, and promoted their food with good public relations by inviting white civic leaders to banquets.

You do not currently have access to this article. There are a handful of recipes and graphs, and nearly pages of notes. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. All those questions have This is a wonderful and interesting study concerning the history of Chinese-American food. Before opening restaurants, some had learned to cook while working as a house servant for white families.

American Chinese food—as cyop developed according to the sensory and cultural encounters constitutive of the migrant experience—would take shape from interethnic encounters. Despite his excellent research, I felt that a lot of the history itself lacked depth; I didn’t come away knowing much more than I’d already learned via Wikipedia many years ago.

tong The Story of Chinese Food in AmericaChen traces the introduction of Chinese food in America, its rocky ascent into popularity, and its overall significance to Chinese American history. American diners began flocking to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese cuisine the first mass-consumed food in the United States. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. Most users should sign in with fhop email address. Yong Chen’s is a personal and sometimes impassioned look at the conditions of Chinese immigrants in 19th and 20th century America, the attitudes they faced from other Americans, and how Chinese food was enthusiastically accepted by all Americans.


Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America by Yong Chen

Being a firm believer on food studies I think this book is a must read if you are interested on the subject of food and culture. I do think there’s also a lot more that could be done with some of the topics he discusses. The bits about empire were honestly among the most painful reading in terms of shoddy analysis I have read for grad school thus far, but overall it was informative and a good starting point for thinking about food in a transnational context.

Some are Sjey recipes and some are just some recipes of food that he has come to So this book talks about that author coming to america. I learned so much about Chinese cuisine from reading this book. However, many typographical errors appeared in this printing-as many as one serious error per page-which detracted from my enjoyment of the book.

CHOP SUEY, USA by Yong Chen | Kirkus Reviews

Throughout the book, Chen explains how factors other than taste of Chinese food played important roles in the success of Chinese restaurants. The first half of the book documents the tough time Chinese immigrants and even the first hsa generations had.

Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. Y ong C hen. Thought this book would be closer to other books I’ve read in this particular genre that looked at the origins of food like Orange Chicken, the rise of places like Panda Express and why Chinese restaurants are so popular with Jewish people, particularly at times like Christmas.

Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America

At the same time, it’s a little dry. From the mid 19th century, Chinese immigrants, and their foods, were viewed with scorn and ridicule for many decades. Racism was the norm and it left the Chinese community with only a few career options — laundry, being domestic cooks, and restaurants.


While the author goes into a few topics in his winding narrative like the evolution of Cookbooks in China that aren’t connected to the thesis very well, the book is one of the better culinary histories that I’ve read. Jon Oldham rated it liked it Dec 27, Dec 31, Emily rated it liked it Shelves: Jan 20, Nathaniel rated it ua it. In style, essentially a research paper expanded to book length-although significantly more readable than many research papers-this exploration of Chinese food in America traces the historical, political, social, and economic forces that made Chinese duey so ubiquitous in the United States today.


Professor Chen grew up in China and came to America in the s as a graduate student, planning to return to China when he skey earned his doctorate in American history.

Nov 12, John Jung rated it it was amazing. If you are expecting a book about why America likes chow mein or who invented fortune cookies, look elsewhere — this is a deeper, multi-layered look at the people behind the food.

Chen explores the history of Chinese food in America while Wang examines the emergence and spread of chopstick culture in Hong and beyond. It’s also very accessible in terms of readability I read the entire thing in maybe two hours with a lunch break, so if you’re looking for that, it’s a good read! Darlene Lee rated it it was ok Jan 06, I am happy that this book exists, but also happy that I am done reading it.

I found the book to be entertaining and educational. Lists with This Book. Return to Book Page. Tedious, poorly written, and not that insightful. A well-researched study of Chinese-American food, the people who brought it to our neighborhoods and how Americans grew to love it.

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