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Chop Suey, USAThe Story of Chinese Food in America$
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Yong Chen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168922

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168922.001.0001

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The Rise of Chinese Restaurants

The Rise of Chinese Restaurants

Chapter:
(p.92) 5 The Rise of Chinese Restaurants
Source:
Chop Suey, USA
Author(s):

Yong Chen

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231168922.003.0005

This chapter describes the events that led to the mainstream acceptance of Chinese food in the United States. This dramatic turn of events came as a result of two developments: a profound demographic and socioeconomic transformation of Chinese America; and the expansion of the American economy. At the conjunction of these developments is Chinatown's metamorphosis from a target of intense racial hatred to a popular tourist destination. The United States's rapidly growing economy generated more wealth and leisure as well as a swelling army of tourists, hungry for new things to see and to savor. A steadily increasing number of these travelers, especially those in the lower-middle and working classes, went to Chinatown to sightsee. It is in Chinatown that many American mass consumers discovered Chinese food.

Keywords:   socioeconomic transformation, Chinese American, American economy, economic expansion, Chinatown

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