Jan 18, 2017

Do you know that beef and broccoli on your Chinese takeout menu is not really authentic Chinese food?  It's American Chinese food.  What?!!  I learned this at MOFAD - Museum of Food and Drink.

What else do you regularly order from your neighborhood Chinese dive?  If it's any of these dishes pictured below, then don't expect to find it in China!

This is news for us ABC's (American Born Chinese) isn't it?  It was for me, and especially my kids who have grown up here since birth and been eating beef and broccoli since they began eating table food!

The difference in American Chinese food when compared to authentic Chinese food is it's been doctored for the Westerners tastebuds.  More flavor has been added in American Chinese food using oyster sauce and corn starch to create that thick brown sauce most love.  Where as typical authentic Chinese food is more bland and soupy.

Other interesting facts we learned at MOFAD was the 1849 Gold Rush that drew many of the first Chinese immigrants to the USA.  The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act where white workers felt threatened by the Chinese laborers who were willing to work for less, that resulted in anti Chinese violence and a ban on Chinese immigration.  Then the lack of jobs available to them, which forced the Chinese to start up different service businesses to survive.  The restaurant business being most successful, and the creation of American Chinese cuisine that is now served nation wide in close to 50,000 restaurants.  WOW.

Amazing story on entrepreneur spirits.  History I didn't even know about my ancestors!  Learn something new everyday, right?  If your also interested, this exhibit Chow: Making The Chinese American Restaurant is on at MOFAD till February 26, 2017.  Tickets can be purchased in advance on their website.

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