‘Made in America’ Chinese food just not the same

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Gazebo Photo by Caris Weinberg

Stratford student Grace Ge is not a fan of America's attempts at Chinese cuisine

I have lived in the United States for about a year and a half and have already tried the Chinese food here. 

When I first had it, to be honest, I was surprised by the taste. I have noticed people living here usually order egg rolls, sweet-and-sour chicken, fried rice, and beef with broccoli. 

The beef with broccoli is not a Chinese dish. First of all, China did not always have broccoli. And most ancient Chinese people do not eat strong healthy cows because they are used to plow the field. 

There are laws about killing the cows. People cannot kill the cows privately. But when a government officer approved that the cow is too old to work, they can kill it for food and for the skin.

Chinese food is actually very different from the ones in the U.S. It has eight major kinds of cuisine. The taste and the ways of cooking them is largely based on the climate, geography, history, specialty of the land, and the local customs. ”

— Grace Ge

The American Chinese food is originated from the 1800s when Gold Rush started in California. When the immigrants from China first arrived in the U.S., they could not find a job. So they started some small restaurants. In order to gain more local customers, those Chinese people changed the flavor of the dish and made them adapt to the local’s taste.

There also were some ingredients they could not get from the market so they had to find something to replace them. Broccoli was one of them.

Chinese food is actually very different from the ones in the U.S. It has eight major kinds of cuisine. The taste and the ways of cooking them is largely based on the climate, geography, history, specialty of the land, and the local customs. 

In the northern region of China, the weather is mostly cold, their food is more salty and has a rather strong taste. In the southeastern part of China, the weather is more temperate, the food flavor is mainly sweet and salty but more mild in tastes than the ones in the northern region. In the southwestern part, the weather is more humid and rainy. So the food is more spicy and strong in taste. And the ingredients of the dishes are based on the specialty of the land and the ways of living of the local people. The people in the northern part used to roam on the grass plains with the cows and sheep. So their dishes are mainly about beef and sheep. The people in the southern part had more domesticated bird and water related animals, such as ducks and river fish. So they cook with them more often. The people that live near the ocean will have more sea fish and shrimps and oysters on their dishes.

 There are also 24 techniques of cooking Chinese cuisine.

There is a big difference between Chinese food and American Chinese food.