American Chinese Food vs. Chinese Food and Globalization of Cuisine

American crepes are not like French crepes.

American Japanese food is like Japanese food, in my brief experience.

American Chinese food is a mixed bag. If you go to Chinatown I think you can find a lot of similarities between what’s actually eaten in China and what’s eaten in an American Chinatown.

But for most of us who order take-out or eat at that cheap place down the street, it’s more different than alike. Here in China I’ve seen more meat sans sauces. It’s more spicy here, too. At the Chinese place I eat from in SF you can order soft tortilla wraps and stuff it with “musho pork” – a mix of lettuce and meat. In Beijing, you are supposed to dip Peking Duck into the dark sauce and then wrap the tortilla around the duck. Much different. I’ve also seen no sweet and sour chicken and no chow mein. Just one example of a tactical difference.

China is also a HUGE country and the food varies from region to region. Americans probably only eat from one region or the most popular flavors from each region.

While I’ve liked the Chinese food I’ve eaten, I probably like Japanese better.

My opinion on globalization and cuisine is that the very best Chinese food in San Francisco is probably as good as the very best Chinese food in Beijing. A five-star French restaurant in San Francisco is probably as good as a five star French restaurant in Paris. But, you’ll find many more “very best” French restaurants in Paris than in San Francisco. What you get in the native land is more quantity of the five star. Also, a “pretty good” French restaurant in Paris will likely be better than a “pretty good” French restaurant in San Francisco. The equality only exists at the top tier.

4 comments on “American Chinese Food vs. Chinese Food and Globalization of Cuisine
  • The best Chinese food is in Southern California. The next best Chinese food is in Vancouver. After that, Hong Kong.

    Chinese food on the mainland is making a comeback, but it’s not there yet.

  • I can get Cuban food any day of the week,but finding good Chinese food in Miami has been a challange.

    Perhaps I’ve become spoiled from Philaelphia’s China town, but what little Chinese food I have eaten here has not been up to my snobbish northeastern-united states standards.

    Though I must say I am getting addicted to platanos friots…

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