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Chinese food in Canada (applies to the U.S. too)

Chinese food in Canada (applies to the U.S. too)

Old Jun 21, 16, 10:14 pm
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Chinese food in Canada (applies to the U.S. too)

Story about Chinese food in small-town Canada. Probably applies to the U.S. too. One reason I'm not ll that keen to try them (knowing what the real stuff tastes like).

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/...ticle30539419/
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Old Jun 21, 16, 10:52 pm
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Great story, I'm sure it applies to a lot of places.

I've had the real stuff too, but I still enjoy trying those places
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Old Jun 22, 16, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Story about Chinese food in small-town Canada. Probably applies to the U.S. too. One reason I'm not ll that keen to try them (knowing what the real stuff tastes like).

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/...ticle30539419/
I have to admit that small-town Chinese restaurants are a special guilty pleasure for me. I travel a fair amount by myself, and having lunch in one of these little spots never fails to delight.
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Old Jun 22, 16, 7:21 pm
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I enjoyed reading the story. I grew up in a small town with a single Chinese reataurant called the China Clipper. It appeared to be vintage 30's or 40's. I always wondered about the story behind the restaurant and the family that ran it. I wish I'd asked. It has probably been gone 30 years.
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Old Jun 22, 16, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by MaxBuck View Post
I have to admit that small-town Chinese restaurants are a special guilty pleasure for me. I travel a fair amount by myself, and having lunch in one of these little spots never fails to delight.
Completely agree. We call it 'good bad Chinese food' in our house and I absolutely love it from time-to-time.
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Old Jun 23, 16, 10:59 am
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Chinese-American (or Chinese-Canadian, as the case may be). Just like Italian-American. America is a county of immigrants. The culture is an amalgamation of other cultures, crossed together as different ethnicity intermingled and based on what was both available and what life dictated. Italian-American and Chinese-American are no less authentic than Italian and Chinese, they are just authentic to different places.
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Old Jun 23, 16, 5:30 pm
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I wouldn't say there is that much intermingling of ethnicities when it comes to Chinese food in North America (at least away from areas where there are large Chinese communities) as it is first-generation immigrants running the restaurants for the most part. It's just that lack of ingredients* and the adjustment of recipes to local taste. Perhaps the Italian experience and the evolution of Italian food in North America is different as that intermingled Italians from various places in Italy (primarily southern, from what I understand) and their regional cooking, and adjusted for the local availability of ingredients. The better analogy for Chinese cuisine evolving that way is in SE Asia (e.g., Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei) where you did have varied Chinese groups intermingling to evolve a new cuisine (and we won't get into Straits Chinese/Peranakan for now). That evolution in North America may come where you have large influx of new immigrants with older ones. One possibility is the Vancouver area where you do have the established, mainly Cantonese/GuandDong immigrants, the TaiWan (already possibly a mixed bag due to infusion of RoC refugees following the establishment of the PRC) and now immigrants from the PRC. I haven't noticed any blending of cuisines, yet.

That said, the wok-fried beef 'n mac sounded good.

* - was in Belize a few years ago and one of the few restaurants in town was a Chinese one (primarily, it seems, from GuangDong and ToiShan in particular). Instead of the proper wrapper, they used whole-grain tortillas.
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Old Jun 27, 16, 1:19 pm
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Fogo Island has just rocketed to near the top of my North America bucket list.* That there's a Chinese restaurant there only makes it more urgent.

(*Saint-Pierre & Miquelon have always been there, now I have even more reason to undertake the granddaddy of road trips.)

Edited a couple of hours later...

Okay, now you've done it. Next summer, barring death or Brexit-induced poverty, I'm going to drive from Seattle to Fogo, with a side trip to Fortune NL for the ferry to St. Pierre. I'm retired, have a decent car, no time constraints, and I'll combine the drive with stops to see family in Philly and friends in Montreal. 10K+ miles on the odometer. Maybe I'll time it to allow some leaf-peeping in New England or Quebec on the way back. Done and done.

Last edited by Gardyloo; Jun 27, 16 at 3:59 pm
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Old Jun 27, 16, 9:41 pm
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Go for it Gardyloo.

I've done it twice (once to the Maritimes as a kid, once to Toronto as an adult), and it is an unforgettable trip, whether you travel via the USA or Canada.

As for "chinese" restaurants, there are three in my northern BC town of under 2000 people. The two most prosperous restaurants in town, been around for decades.

They usually serve "chinese and western cuisine" presumably because they have to appeal to the widest possible audience to make ends meet.

I think that also dictates the menu as well. Salty, sweet, and fat, with little or no heat.

And I agree, even though more "authentic" ingredients are available now, my guess is the menus won't change much.

They might not offer authentic chinese cuisine, but they are definitely part of small-town BC culture. And my culture as well.

Thanks for the article. I hadn't thought much about them--they've always just been there, in every town I've lived in in BC and Alberta.
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Old Jun 27, 16, 10:24 pm
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I grew up in Toronto, there were lots of great Chinese food places in the heart of Chinatown. The best part is they were open late, after the bars let out and would serve 'beer' after hours. The code was to ask for "cold tea".
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Old Jun 27, 16, 10:29 pm
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When I was reading the article, recipe tailoring for local taste did remind me of this thread. I guess there must be a lot of recipe swapping, convergence, or scoping out the competition.

I'm near YSN at present and the 3 Chinese restaurants in town are catercorner to each other. Don't dare to try any lest I get a look of "what are you doing in here?"
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Old Jun 28, 16, 6:47 am
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Good one.
Some what similar I'd heard about the Maryland's restaurant too. My neighbour use to tell all this stories and this Canada one was also one of them. He visited Jakumsung Glen Burnie, MD and he had Chinese food there with Korean style. Some food styles were like simple but different. This source shares more about it and he offered me also to visit there once.
Had any one tried?

Last edited by SimonDG13; Jun 28, 16 at 7:05 am
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Old Jun 28, 16, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
* - was in Belize a few years ago and one of the few restaurants in town was a Chinese one (primarily, it seems, from GuangDong and ToiShan in particular). Instead of the proper wrapper, they used whole-grain tortillas.
I was amazed at how much Chinese influence was in Belize! Joking (and high prices) aside, the selection on an island of 1.3k people rivaled Zürich... and oddly, I felt more of a local (being of oriental heritage) than my Caucasian travel partner...

Thanks for the fascinating article, OP.
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Old Jun 28, 16, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by SwissBritMiss View Post
I was amazed at how much Chinese influence was in Belize!
I do believe it is more (business) immigration and the establishment (or takeover) of a retail industry than anything else. Not much in the way of retail shops (general stores) in Belize which appear to have been an opening. Restaurants and bakeries are way down the scale. If there has been a Chinse community in Belize in the past, I am not sure I encountered it. Learning from casual conversation, it would appear these folk are there to get Belizean citizenship before trying to apply for U.S. residency.
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Old Jun 28, 16, 3:08 pm
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Sesame chicken, the heart and soul of an authentic Chinese restaurant - LOL.

Btw, I envy those living in Vancouver BC, some of the best in nearby Richmond
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