In an increasingly health conscious world, Chinese food, the former globally accepted comfort food appears to be facing a lot of derision. However, most of the food that gets passed off as Chinese takeout is hardly Chinese in origin. To understand this malaise better, we need to go back to the history of the Chinese in America. During the Gold Rush, several Chinese citizens migrated to America via the Pacific ocean in search of greener pastures. During those early days, the Chinese were also hired as labor to finish up the last, most challenging of the Western Railroad(specifically the Donner pass).
However, despite their enormous contributions to American society, the Chinese found that the only recompense they received was discrimination. This carried on to such an extent that most Chinese Americans were suddenly rendered unemployable. One of the prominent business that they were allowed to make incursions into was the hospitality and services industry. Soon, the Chinese began opening up restaurants, laundromats and inns. Unlike other establishments run by particular ethnic groups, the Chinese did not discriminate against any of their customers, regardless of ethnicity. It is in this spirit that they began making their food more appealing to the hordes of people that visited their restaurants. In a sense, they fought discrimination by being inclusive and flexible to change.
It is this mutated cuisine that attracts the umbrage of the health conscious around the world. Real Chinese food,on the other hand, is extremely varied, and can change dramatically in every province. The Sichuan and Hunan provinces love their peppers , but the Cantonese prefer subtle flavors. Chinese food forms its bedrock on healthy foods like soybeans, green leafy vegetables, sprouts, pok choy and broccoli. It uses very little oil and most dishes are steamed and braised. The next time you want to have Chinese food, just try whipping up the authentic stuff yourself at home. You wont regret it!