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Old 01-02-2019, 01:37 AM
Haldurson is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 205
One thing about Chinese food in the US is that a lot of the dishes were actually invented in the US -- that's always been the case. Part of the problem is that if you are going to be using fresh ingredients, you have to make do with whatever is actually available in your locale. Substitutions and experiments are going to happen. It's not about having a dish that is completely authentic, as much as it is being authentic in style.

As a parallel to this, when I was in Taiwan, they had, basically 3 or 4 standard flavors of ice cream. We visited a university cafeteria, and the only available choices that I can recall were (literally) Red bean, White Bean or Black bean. As I said, people make do with whatever ingredients are available. If you are out in Taipei, on the street, there will be lots of vendors selling shaved ice, with one of those beans as a topping.

Another thing about my trip to Taiwan -- unless you go into a more expensive restaurant, dishes tend to be very plain and simple -- a bowl with rice or noodles, with one protein on top. We never saw anything that in any way resembled what passes here in New York for Cantonese or Szechuan or Hunan style food. We did have one meal with lots of the in-laws where there was some dim sum. But that was more of an expensive banquet, not a meal at a regular restaurant.