Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Search For General Tso

The hunt for the elusive namesake behind the ubiquitous dish is examined in this documentary. I like Chinese food, but I've actually never had this dish. I've always been a fan of noodle dishes, myself.  I'd always assumed that General Tso's was a spicier version of Sweet & Sour Chicken, which I've never cared for because of the ketchup. Unfortunately, The Search For General Tso could have been easily summed up in about 15 minutes, by explaining the story behind General Tso. I learned that the real General Tso, an actual 19th century Chinese general, would've found the Americanized dish surprising, as he wanted Western culture out of China, and Hunan cuisine rarely combines sweet and savory elements in a dish. The dish was invented by Chef T. T. Wang in 1972, and he prepared a simple Hunan chicken dish and added sugar to appeal to Western palates. There's the answer. Oops, sorry, Spoiler Alert. Anyway, The Search For General Tso was interesting and informative, but even at a mere 73 minutes felt padded and overlong.

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