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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I was fascinated by it. Some of the other usz are spot on. The rise of Chinese food was also a result of the ingenuity of Chinese American restaurant workers, who developed the concept of the open kitchen and popularized the practice of home delivery. E dward W ang. Why do some people suspect of Chinese food? In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: That said, it wasn’t an easy read.

I suppose that comes with the territory of being written by a professor of history. The taproots of the culinary turn have dug deep into the rich aquifers of Asian American studies.

Don’t have an account? Several commonly-held myths are debunked and there were whole categories of discussion I had never even heard or thought of, like the Jewish connection with Chinese food. All those questions have very logical answers that can be answered when combining historical research with culinary history, newspapers and word of mouth. Hardcoverpages. Phong Ho rated it liked it Feb 26, The perception surrounding Chinese food from eating rats to its supposed health benefits to the rise of “Chinese American” food like egg foo young and the like and how it has changed or not.

An interesting an in-depth read into the history of not only Chinese food, but that of Chinese immigrants and their diaspora in the U.


I got this book from netGalley. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Jan 20, Nathaniel rated it liked it.

They served dishes which were unappealing to non-Chinese but were popular with Chinese immigrants who lived in or frequented Chinatowns. It turned out to be so much more.


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

Chop Suey, USA covers a lot of ground, about social trends, race relations, assimilation, cookbooks, and classes in America. Steve Mossberg rated it liked it Dec 30, Relegated initially to feminized or domestic work by racial prejudices, early Chinese immigrants, almost all men, made their living running laundries and then small restaurants.

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Aug 13, Biblio Files takingadayoff rated it really liked it. American Suy food—as it developed according to the sensory and cultural encounters constitutive of the migrant experience—would take shape from interethnic encounters.

Even though their repertoire would have consisted of American dishes, this experience was invaluable as the menu of Chinese restaurants in areas where there were few Chinese actually contained mostly American and only a few Chinese dishes.

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

Wendy Rouse; Y ong C hen. Ostracized by white society, Chinese men lived in enclaves, forerunners of Chinatowns in large cities, and restaurants emerged to serve these communities and others on the margins of society. Related articles in Google Scholar. Overall I liked it.

Some are Chinese recipes and some are just some recipes of food that he has come to So this book talks about that author coming to america. Two new books, one by Yong Chen and the other by Q. You could not be signed in. Some are Chinese recipes and some are just some recipes of food that he has come to love since living here.

CHOP SUEY, USA by Yong Chen | Kirkus Reviews

Be the first to discover new talent! Historically, the only occupations open to them sufy domestic employment, laundries and restaurants. A very good read! In explaining the rise of Chinese restaurants, Chen argues that Chinatown tourism—as yohg site of both abjection and fascination—set the tone for the Orientalist relationship between white consumers and Chinese laborers that would foreground the nature of Chinese restaurants and their popularity chap.


Chop suey and the foods that would constitute Chinese American cuisine were born from affordability, as opposed to Chinese haute cuisine for which Americans did not develop a taste.

But it’s quite academic and dry. The past decade cben the sprouts, then the fruits, and then the feasts of this emerging field. Jen rated it it was ok Mar 07, A bit too much time spent on statistics and citations. Tedious, poorly written, and not cchen insightful.

Mar 06, Ai Miller rated it it was ok Shelves: This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Although these books are almost identically titled, they are not at all similar. They chose quick and simple dishes like chop suey over China’s haute cuisine, and the affordability of such Chinese food democratized the once-exclusive dining-out experience for underprivileged groups, such as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews.

Still, unlike many books in this category, Chen’s personal interest in his research area and his lack of concern for white intellectual conventions makes for a much better presentation than similar works in this mold. Chinese food is one of the most popular cuisines, if not the ylng, in the United States today.

Edward Wang, trace the evolution of Chinese foodways over time and place. The bottom line is that this is a well-researched book with several interesting ideas on a subject that has been long overlooked. Chinese food’s transpacific migration and commercial success is both an epic story of global cultural exchange and a history of the socioeconomic, political, choo cultural developments that shaped the Chfn appetite for fast food and cheap labor in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.