作者：沪江英语 来源：互联网 2014-04-03 16:41
Chinese restaurants have played an important role in American history, as a matter of fact. The Cuban missile crisis was resolved in a Chinese restaurant called Yenching Palace in Washington, D.C., which unfortunately is closed now, and about to be turned into Walgreen's. And the house that John Wilkes Booth planned the assassination of Abraham Lincoln is actually also now a Chinese restaurant called Wok 'n Roll, on H Street in Washington.
And if you think about it, a lot of the foods that you think of or we think of or Americans think of as Chinese food are barely recognizable to Chinese, for example: beef with broccoli, egg rolls, General Tso's Chicken, fortune cookies, chop suey, the take-out boxes.
So, the interesting question is, how do you go from fortune cookies being something that is Japanese to being something that is Chinese? Well, the short answer is, we locked up all the Japanese during World War II, including those that made fortune cookies, so that's the time when the Chinese moved in, kind of saw a market opportunity and took over.
General Tso's Chicken -- which, by the way, in the US Naval Academy is called Admiral Tso's Chicken. I love this dish. The original name in my book was actually called The Long March of General Tso, and he has marched very far indeed, because he is sweet, he is fried, and he is chicken -- all things that Americans love.
So, you know, I realized when I was there, General Tso is kind of a lot like Colonel Sanders in America, in that he's known for chicken and not war. But in China, this guy's actually known for war and not chicken.
So it's kind of part of the phenomenon I called spontaneous self-organization, right, where, like in ant colonies, where little decisions made by -- on the micro-level actually have a big impact on the macro-level.
And the great innovation of Chicken McNuggets was not nuggetfying them, because that's kind of an easy concept, but the trick behind Chicken McNuggets was, they were able to remove the chicken from the bone in a cost-effective manner, which is why it took so long for other people to copy them.
We can think of Chinese restaurants perhaps as Linux: sort of an open source thing, right, where ideas from one person can be copied and propagated across the entire system, that there can be specialized versions of Chinese food, you know, depending on the region.