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Author Mendelson, Anne, author

Title Chow chop suey : food and the Chinese American journey / Anne Mendelson
Published New York : Columbia University Press, [2016]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource
Series Arts and traditions of the table : perspectives on culinary history
Arts and traditions of the table.
Contents Prologue: A Stroke of the Pen -- PART I -- 1. Origins: The Toisan -- California Pipeline -- 2. The Culinary "Language" Barrier -- 3. "Celestials" on Gold Mountain -- 4. The Road to Chinatown -- PART II -- 5. The Birth of Chinese American Cuisine -- 6. Change, Interchange, and the First Successful "Translators" -- 7. White America Rediscovers Chinese Cuisine -- 8. An Advancement of Learning -- 9. The First Age of Race-Blind Immigration -- Postscript: What Might Have Been
Summary "Chinese food first became popular in America under the shadow of violence against Chinese aliens, a despised racial minority ineligible for United States citizenship. The founding of late-nineteenth-century "chop suey" restaurants that pitched an altered version of Cantonese cuisine to white patrons despite a virulently anti-Chinese climate is one of several pivotal events in Anne Mendelson's thoughtful history of American Chinese food. Chow Chop Suey uses cooking to trace different stages of the Chinese community's footing in the larger white society. Mendelson begins with the arrival of men from the poorest district of Canton Province during the Gold Rush. She describes the formation of American Chinatowns and examines the curious racial dynamic underlying the purposeful invention of hybridized Chinese American food, historically prepared by Cantonese-descended cooks for whites incapable of grasping Chinese culinary principles. Mendelson then follows the eventual abolition of anti-Chinese immigration laws and the many demographic changes that transformed the face of Chinese cooking in America during and after the Cold War. Mendelson concludes with the post-1965 arrival of Chinese immigrants from Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and many regions of mainland China. As she shows, they have immeasurably enriched Chinese cooking in America but tend to form comparatively self-sufficient enclaves in which they, unlike their predecessors, are not dependent on cooking for a white clientele."--Publisher's description
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes In English
Print version record
Subject Chinese American families -- History.
Chinese Americans -- Food -- History.
Cooking, Chinese -- History.
Emigration and immigration -- History.
Food habits -- United States.
Asian Americans -- history.
Cooking -- history.
Feeding Behavior.
United States.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0231541295 (electronic bk.)
9780231541299 (electronic bk.)