General Tso’s chicken, beef and broccoli reign and other Chinese take-out standards may be coming to an end.
For over 100 years, Chinese food in America has been primarily viewed as something quick, cheap, and filling. But with China’s economic boom, the image of its people has changed and Chinese cuisine has developed with it. Today, New York City is experiencing a proliferation of upscale Chinese restaurants that prioritize ingredients, ambiance and authenticity over satisfying American palates.
Previous waves of Chinese immigrants have opened restaurants to get by; their lower socioeconomic status placed Chinese cuisine at the bottom of what food researchers call the “taste hierarchy”. But the upwardly rising young restaurateurs behind these newly opened restaurants are more concerned with self-expression than survival. It changes the way Chinese food is viewed in America and could ultimately reshape Americans’ ideas about taste.
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