Gen­eral: Dish is like a re­flec­tion of peo­ple’s Chi­nese-Amer­i­can iden­tity

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

“We tasted the orig­i­nal Gen­eral Tso’s chicken in Taipei, and it was de­li­cious; it was just dif­fer­ent,” Cheney said. “It was a lit­tle more tart, it had more of a ginger-andgar­lic pro­file, much less bread­ing than you’d find on Gen­eral Tso’s chicken in the States. I think Chef Peng was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed that Americans aren’t be­ing as ad­ven­tur­ous as one might like in ex­plor­ing dif­fer­ent types of culi­nary tra­di­tions.”

Lee said that the dish is like her in many ways, a re­flec­tion of Chi­nese-Amer­i­can iden­tity.

“Peo­ple look at it and they go, ‘This is for­eign, this is ex­otic,’ but the more you learn about it, the more you re­al­ize this is a dish that is na­tive to Amer­ica. If you look at me, I look Chi­nese, ge­net­i­cally I’m Chi­nese, but if you drill down, I’m com­pletely na­tive to the United States,” she said.

The doc­u­men­tary is simultaneously show­ing in ci­ties across US and in video-on-de­mand for­mat, stream­ing from ma­jor plat­forms like Ap­ple’s iTunes and Ama­zon In­stant Video. Cheney and El­lis also are look­ing to work with ed­u­ca­tors and var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions to present the doc­u­men­tary as learn­ing ma­te­rial.

“We went into this cu­ri­ous about what we could learn about this one dish and the story be­hind it,” Cheney said, “but we emerged from the film with a much greater un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Chi­nese-Amer­i­can his­tory more broadly, the un­be­liev­able strug­gle that im­mi­grants have faced, the re­pres­sion laws that were put in place to make it very dif­fi­cult for Chi­nese to come to Amer­ica, and then to make a liv­ing in Amer­ica.”

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