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Chinese Food in the U.S. - A Time Line
Reprinted courtesy of Sept/Oct 99 issue
Hearst Magazine - Mr. Food's EasyCooking
                     by Lesa Griffith          


150 years since Macao & Woosung opened.
Chinese food - in all its forms - is more popular than ever.


McDonald's launches Chicken McNuggets.
One accompanying dip: sweet 'n' sour sauce.


Martin Yan, who arrived in the U.S. in 1971, launches his cooking show Yan Can Cook. A year later, he publishes his first cookbook, The Joy of Wokking. In 1998 his show wins an Emmy. He is now the most watched TV chef in the world, with an audience of 2 billion people in 75 countries.


A new immigration law allows for the first time since 1943 increased immigration to the U.S. from China. Chinese restaurants boom. Hunan & Szechuan cuisines gain popularity, joining the predominant Cantonese cooking.


Joyce Chen, who fled Mainland China's Communists in 1949, opens New England's first Mandarin restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Customers include Julia Child. She publishes the classic Joyce Chen Cookbook four years later.


Detroit grocer Wallace Smith teams up with Korean immigrant Ilhan New, his former university classmate, to start La Choy Food Products. They sell canned and bottled bean sprouts. By the mid 1940's, the company is the world's leading producer of canned Chinese food.


Los Angeles noodle manufacturer David Jung creates the fortune cookie.


The great earthquake rocks San Francisco and the lights...dim sum! Actually, most of Chinatown is destroyed. It's rebuilt as an "Oriental tourist neighborhood."


According to legend, chop suey - a modification of a Cantonese dish - is invented. Other Cantonese adaptations become what Americans view as "Chinese food." Chow mein & egg foo yong are among the most popular interpretations.


Chinese restaurants are in most major U.S. cities. The first of several Chinese Exclusion Acts goes into effect, curtailing immigration from Asia until 1943.


In San Francisco, Norman Asing, who goes on to become a prominent businessman and supporter of civil rights for Chinese immigrants, opens Macao & Woosung, the first known Chinese restaurant in the U.S.




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