The first Chinatown sprang up in San Francisco in the middle of the 19th century. Large populations of Chinese laborers immigrated to America during this period to build the transcontinental railroad.
The difference between authentic food of the type eaten in China and “Americanized” dishes has existed since Chinese restaurants in America were founded. Over time, many restaurants phased out the authentic Chinese menu and began serving only the menu we now know.
Dried Citrus Peel Chicken. Seriously.
The dish is called “dried citrus peel chicken” because it’s not always made with sweet orange peels. Chefs sometimes use other types of dried citrus like mandarins, satsumas, or pomelos which varies the taste of the dish dramatically.
The distinctive container known across America as the delivery device for Chinese takeout is actually called an “oyster pail.” The container’s origami design mimics a type of paper box with a wire handle used to transport oysters in the early 20th century.
Actually, the number of Chinese food restaurants dwarfs the number of both burger joints AND pizza places in America. American Chinese food is, hands down, America’s most popular food!
Green Onions do.
The rest of these ingredients, though staples of American Chinese food, do not grow natively in China and therefore rarely show up in authentic Chinese food.
We make 3 billion fortune cookies. Wow!
Three billion! There are a truly staggering number of fortune cookies produced and consumed on a yearly basis, and almost all of them are consumed in the USA. That’s an average of nine fortune cookies per year for every man, woman, and child in America!
Chow fun? How fun!
Yes, it does sound like this dish is American for “have a good time eating,” but it’s actually a traditional Chinese dish popular in Southern China! Chop suey, on the other hand, is an American invention whose name translates to “odds and ends.”
Tso Tsungtang was a famous general who fought in the Taiping Rebellion, and the dish is widely believed to be named after him — however, it’s highly unlikely he ever tried the dish himself. In fact, since the dish was not invented until the 1950s, the real General Tso probably never even knew it existed!
Apricot would be correct!
So why is it called “duck sauce”? Well, no one’s really sure, but some people theorize it’s an Americanized substitute for the Chinese sauce that was traditionally served with Peking duck. But that sauce was made from soybeans and wheat flour, so...apricots? Still kinda mysterious.