Chop Suey

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Andrew Coe explains the history of America's infatuation with Chinese food in his book Chop Suey. His story takes us from China to the 1848 Gold Rush in the American West to the New York, where "Bohemians" discovered chop suey, to President Nixon’s trip to China.


Andrew Coe

Comments [9]

John NYC from NYC

I hope his book covers what we food hounds call Old School Chinese, very few places left (maybe only on Long Island) - MooGooGaiPan; Wonton Soup (thick skin type) with cuts of roast pork and Chinese broccoli leaves. Chow Mein that has that glutinous celery flavor with minced pork, and shredded chicken over fried noodles.

Wo Hop down in China town not really what is used to be.

Jade Mountain on Second Ave, whose owner, Mr. Chan, was tragically killed in 2006 in a traffic accident while making a delivery. Only thing that remains is a fading neon sign flashes "Chow Mein" over the present occupant a Brauhaus Restaurant. A remnant from a baigon era, where a Raymond Chandler character ducked into its noir’ish environs, a chop suey joint to meet with.....

Choose two from Column A and one from Column B; with six you get eggroll ... Oh! where have you gone Joe DiMaggio....

Jul. 14 2009 04:25 PM
judy from NYC

The standard of cooking in SF is excellent over all. The best Chinese food I ever had, outside of China, was in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jul. 14 2009 01:16 PM

Back in the late 60's Shorty Tang was revolutionizing Chinese cuisine with Hwa Yuan in nyc chinatown. His signature dish was cold noodle sesame sauce but he had other amazing schezuan dishes. He tragically died in the early 70s.

Jul. 14 2009 01:06 PM
the truth from bkny

General Tso Tsungtang, or as his name is spelled in modern Pinyin, Zuo Zongtang, was born on Nov. 10, 1812, and died on Sept. 5, 1885. He was a frighteningly gifted military leader during the waning of the Qing dynasty, a figure perhaps the Chinese equivalent of the American Civil War commander William Tecumseh Sherman. He served with brilliant distinction during China's greatest civil war, the 14-year-long Taiping Rebellion, which claimed millions of lives.

Tso was utterly ruthless. He smashed the Taiping rebels in four provinces, put down an unrelated revolt called the Nian Rebellion, then marched west and reconquered Chinese Turkestan from Muslim rebels

Jul. 14 2009 01:03 PM
the truth from bkny

The farther South you go , the more American the Chinese food is prepared. For instance peas and carrots in the fried rice in Georgia.

Jul. 14 2009 01:02 PM
hjs from 11211

who was General Tso.

Jul. 14 2009 12:49 PM
mr nyc

Last year I was in Shanxi province in China and that had the most amazing Chinese food I've ever had (Pingyao beef is incredible). Most of the Chinese food in NYC comes from the Canton and Szechuan provinces but it isn't as good as the Shanxi province food (remember, China is huge).

Jul. 14 2009 12:49 PM
Graham from New York

@Peter,(1) Because there are more stray cats to choose from.

Jul. 14 2009 12:16 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

Why is the Chinese food so much better in San Francisco then anywhere else in the states?

Jul. 14 2009 12:09 PM

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