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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

(p.92) 5 The Rise of Chinese Restaurants
Chop Suey, USA

Yong Chen

Columbia University Press

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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