| best Chinese food restaurants in the San Fernando Valley for takeout
It is, easily, the most iconic to-go container in culinary history a Totem of Takeout, an origami box built for noodles, pork, shrimp and chicken. Its technically an isosceles trapezoid solid, a three-dimensional representation of a high school geometry problem.To get more news about special dishes of china, you can visit shine news official website.
The Chinese food takeout container was born in the last decade of the 19th century, when it was known as an oyster pail because, well, it was used for to-go orders of oysters. It was also used, for many years, for honey and was until after World War II, when Chinese takeout competed with pizza for the food most Americans took home to eat while watching The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, on small black-and-white TV screens. And for most Chinese restaurants, its still the standard for takeout.
This white, waxed container more often than not comes with a red drawing of a pagoda on the side (which is, of course, Japanese) and the words Enjoy and Thank You emblazoned on the top, and over the fold. Some years ago, the Smithsonian paid tribute to the container with an exhibit called Sweet & Sour: A Look at the History of Chinese Food in the United States. And the phrase sweet & sour is especially apt, for this is not a container built for searing spices of Szechuan and Hunanese cooking. I guess dim sum will work okay in the boxes. But dim sum isnt what comes to mind.
Rather, the box is for the classics of Chinese-American cooking. For meals consisting of one from column A, two from column B, white rice and fortune cookies at meals end. It meant chicken chop suey, pork fried rice, sweet-and-sour something or other, egg foo young, and lots and lots of tea. It was something you ate on Sunday nights with family. And an hour later, in the old American anti-vegetable parlance, you were hungry again. Or at least you were if your basic diet consisted of white bread and deep-fried everything.
Chop suey is the defining dish when it comes to Chinese-American cooking. The name may (or may not) come from the Cantonese sap seui, which translates as mixed leftovers. It was a mishmash, created in the mid-1800s by Chinese immigrants to make their native food more appealing to American taste, what there was of it.
Since there was no bok choy or white radishes or soybean sprouts to use, celery, bell peppers and onions became the ingredients of choice, with shredded meat added, and enough soy sauce to turn the white rice black. Louis Armstrong recorded a song in the 1920s called Cornet Chop Suey. It was culinary jazz. Theres an Edward Hopper painting called Chop Suey which is not of food, but of two women, seated in a restaurant, with a sign out the window that reads suey.
And it was chop suey that I went looking for. Or at least chow mein and lo mein. In the case of chop suey, old school Chinese-American cooking. In the case of chow mein and lo mein, the Cantonese cuisine which faded in recent years behind a veil of super-spiced cooking. In either case, this is soul satisfying food to take home, and be filled with nostalgia, as you sip your tea, eat your rice, and enjoy your chow, eaten directly from the container with chopsticks, if you cant muster the energy to put it on a plate or in a bowl.
This is food that tastes good no matter how you gobble it. And if you want, you can still find Ed Sullivan on YouTube. This is a journey into the past, taken one bite at a time.Should you feel the need for classic Chinese-American cooking, here it is. Theres lo mein and chow fun, sweet & sour chicken and orange chicken, steamed chicken shui mai and wonton soup. If its Japanese cooking that cries out to you, there are soba noodles in broth and seared ahi with a yuzu wasabi dressing. You feel a tad like Vietnamese? No worries. Theres a whole section of pho with a choice of many meats and tofu; and the rice vermicelli noodles called bun. You want Thai? How about the papaya salad, the shrimp and crabmeat cakes, and the Thai tom yum soup?
But thats just the tip of the culinary iceberg lettuce, as it were. What really intrigues at Café Orient are the culinary amalgams, the fusions of this cuisine and that cuisine. Consider the baby back ribs satay. Now, most of us are familiar with satay as a Southeast Asian standard of (usually) beef and chicken, cooked and served on a skewer, with a tasty peanut sauce. And though there is a tasty filet mignon satay on the menu here, with a good peanut sauce the fusion is in the baby backs, an ingredient rarely (if ever) encountered in Southeast Asian cooking.