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How La Choy Shaped the Development of Chinese Food in America
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Welcome to an eclectic collection of food-related stories this week, starting with Cathy Erway’s piece on Taste, The Korean Immigrant and Michigan Farm Boy Who Taught Americans How to Cook Chow Mein. Founded in 1922 by a duo at University of Michigan who, incidentally, weren’t Chinese, La Choy has defined Chinese food for a large swath of Americans. “Thanks to its mass production, distribution, and advertising of products that have remained largely unchanged for the last century,” she writes, “La Choy has had a large and lasting impact on Chinese food in America. To many Americans, the brand’s ubiquitous kits, sauces, tinned vegetables, and recipes for dishes like chow mein (with crispy noodles on top, rather than below a saucy topping) simply are Chinese food.”
Gordon Ramsay is bringing fish and chips to Times Square. “Fish & chips was a staple for me growing up in the U.K., and I can’t wait to bring it to New York City,” he told AM New York. I love the vibrance, the energy of Times Square, and the convergence of locals and visitors from around the world. There’s just no place like it!”
Lil’ Frankie’s Grocery (21 First Ave.) has opened in the East Village, the newest place from Frank Prisinzano, of Frank Restaurant, Supper, and Lil’ Frankie’s, among others. Expect a mostly Italian grocery of products that Prisinzano loves, as well as a deli with breakfast sandwiches and Italian favorites.
A Cook Who Never Used a Cookbook Now Has Her Own. At 89, Emily Meggett is considered “the most important Gullah Geechee cook alive,” the New York Times reports.
“There is a long lineage of cookbooks featuring recipes created or perfected by Black women and captured on paper by white women, who sometimes didn’t mention the cooks at all.
This book breaks that mold, said Toni Tipton-Martin, the editor in chief of Cook’s Country, who traced the history of Black American cooks in “The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks.”
Is the Dirty Shirley the drink of summer? Kiddie cocktails with vodka for everyone.