What are Americans' attitudes towards Chinese food?
Matthew Bates, Teacher (2009-present)
Answered Aug 23
The primary attitude towards Chinese food for most Americans is: “More, please.”
We love it.
I’m sure we get an “Americanized” version of it like we do everything else. That’s fine. It’s still good. We have Chinese take-out for dinner on a regular basis at my house.
I have to ask them for “no spicy” on everything because I am weak, even by American standards. But I still love it.
Laura Hancock, I am American.
Answered Aug 17
If you say “Chinese food” to Americans, the vast majority of them are going to react positively to it. Chinese take out is very popular in the US and has been for some time.
The trouble (or, well “trouble”) with this is that what most Americans consider “Chinese food” is not actual food that people eat in China. It’s American-Chinese food.
“Lo Mein,” for instance, is a very well known “Chinese food” that is not actually Chinese. It was invented by a Chinese immigrant to the US. So it’s got Chinese inspiration behind it, but it’s not an actual made-in-China-Chinese food. Just like “California rolls” are indeed a kind of sushi, but they were invented in the US.
I would say that if you served an American an actual Chinese meal, most of them would be pretty surprised.
I suggest you don’t start off with century eggs.
Emlyn Shen, Half Sichuan, half Shenyang, American-born, Cinnamon roll!
Answered Sep 6
What kind of Chinese food?
I know that many of my non-chinese friends love eating some Chinese dishes. Stuff like steamed buns, Chinese barbeque, hotpot, fried rice, ect. Most cuisines have some food that is palpable to the westernized tastes.
The same goes for Americanized Chinese dishes. Those dishes tend to be much sweeter and richer than actual Chinese food, and are very heavily influenced by American cooking.
Some of the more obscure (or weird) Chinese foods are less well-liked. I know that those little fruit jellies weren’t terribly popular with my friends, and a lot of Chinese candy wasn’t to their liking; too bland, not sweet enough, etc. Those were surprising to me.
Less surprising were century eggs, preserved vegetables, xifan/zhou (congee), stinky tofu… most people I know are less enthusiastic about those.
Henry Calvin Vaughan, studied at Houston Community College System
Answered Sep 7
When I was in China, Chinese food was a plate of vegetables sprinkled with bits of meat.
In the United States, Chinese food is a plate of meat sprinkled with bits of vegetables.
Otherwise, the recipes, spices, and flavors are pretty much the same. It's great!
Cencio Farre, Natural born US Citizen
Answered Aug 18
It depends on the American. Most “Chinese” restaurants in the US cater to the American palate, featuring foods that are excessively sweet, batter fried and soaked in sauce, or the descendant of some adaption Chinese immigrants came up with to make up for ingredients they were lacking. Remember, the first Chinese immigrants weren’t professional chefs, they were laborers that built the railroads here.
The American attitude to authentic Chinese food is generally going to be “it’s weird”. It takes some familiarization before they will be comfortable with it.
Jeff Dege, M.S. Software Engineering, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul
Answered Aug 24
Most Americans have no familiarity with Chinese food at all.
What they think of as Chinese food is an entirely American invention having almost nothing to do with China.
It is, in fact, mostly the invention of Jeno Paulucci, who founded Chun King back in the 1940s.
大多数美国人一点也不熟悉中国菜。他们所想的中国菜完全是美国人发明的，几乎完全和中国没关系。实际上，大部分都是由Jeno Paulucci发明的，他在40年代创立了“重庆”菜。（Chun King=重庆，美国的一个中国菜牌子。）