Growing up just outside of Toronto, my family’s monthly fill of Chinese food took place at our local buffet-style chain restaurant. We loaded our plates with egg rolls and sweet and sour chicken balls, and couldn’t wait to crack open a cookie at the end of the meal that foretold our futures with clichéd Chinese proverbs.
I’m not the first to believe in this North American fairy-tale version of “Chinese Food.” Throughout this continent, we’re excited by chop suey, allured by sweet rolls, and made to believe General Tso is mostly remembered in history books for his deliciously marinated chicken. The thing is, none of our Chinese food is real. In fact, no country in the entire world has had their food so poorly misrepresented as China’s has in the West.
Foreigner Eats China aims to set the record straight, showing the actual food people in China are eating and revealing the important cultural role food plays in the world’s most populous country.