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The meals of hundreds of California families were influenced by cooks who were Chinese and had been hired as housemen in middle-class homes.They seldom were permitted to prepare Oriental meals, but they held to their art of serving vegetables that do to lose their crispness or color... In the early California Chinese restaurants there was a willingness to cater to customers--some proprietors served their non-Chinese clients only what they thought those diners wanted, that is, chop suey and fried steak.76-80) [NOTE: This book has far more information than can be paraphrased here.Ask your librarian to help you find a copy] "Much of what passes for Cantonese cooking in the Western World would sicken a traditional Cantonese gourmet.Better restaurants gained fame on San Francisco's Grant Avenue, on or near New York's Mott Street, in Los Angeles, and every other American city of consequence, and the developing tastes for genuine Chinese food resulted in a vogue for home delivery of such easily portable items as egg rolls and chicken chow mein in paper buckets.But it wasn't until after World War II that Americans began consciously to augment their Oriental kitchen repertoires by attending classes in Chinese cooking and avidly sampling new tastes that became available in restaurants specializing in Mandarin, Hunan, Fukien, and Szechwan dishes in addition to those from Canton.
166-7) "The Chinese settled their own Chinatowns within major United States cities, where they opened chow chow eateries, identified by their triangular yellow flags.
Americans not used to such economy were often dismayed by what they found in their rice bowl...
Most of these eateries were primitive in design and atmosphere...
Perhaps more important to the success of the Chinese-American restaurant was its readiness to serve food at any and all hours and to pack it up and deliver it with dispatch, all at prices no other ethnic group could match.
Chinese take-out went hand in hand with Americans' historic penchant for gobblingh up lots of cheap food in as little time with as little fuss as possible." ---America Eats Out, John Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman: New York] 1999 (p.