How is authentic Chinese food different from the Americanized version?

Question by Jesse Pinkman – Aw, what’s in the box!?: How is authentic Chinese food different from the Americanized version?
I’ve never been to China. I say that I love Chinese food, but the Chinese food I say I love is probably barely recognizable to someone actually from there.

Best answer:

Answer by Cameron
More authentic than in China.

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  1. rodolfo l says:

    Authentic Chinese food looks small compared to the Americanized version that looks big.

  2. Ganraku says:

    I guarantee you it will be different. Here’s what I can tell you based on the regions I’ve been to.

    -HUGE variety of teas, some of which I would only find in Chinese stores in the US.
    - A lot more pork in China and less beef. This is because of the difference in the agriculture.
    -Better fruits and veggies (in my opinion). Imagine farmers market every few blocks, especially in Xi’an. Juicier tomatoes, Bigger grapefruits (I used to hate grapefruits),
    -However, a lot more good in China comes with a lot more bad. Don’t try the chicken feet. Gross in the US and China (even worse in China because of stronger flavor). I also had donkey in China.
    -Americanized versions tend to be greasier, with heavier sauces. Don’t count on orange chicken in China; South China has Orange Peel Chicken, which isn’t the same.
    -No fortune cookies :( (San Fransisco invention)

  3. Jie fu says:

    It really depends on what you mean by Chinese food and where in China you eat it. But here are some things I’ve found as a foreigner living in China.

    1) A lot of meat you would expect to be bone-free has bones in it. The first day I got to China, I ordered Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁) in hopes of getting something I thought I knew. I almost broke my teeth. Chinese say they leave the bones in because it adds more flavor.

    2) Many Chinese (especially in Sichuan, and Hunan) like their food super spicy. Even in Beijing its very common to order something that looks innocent, only to discover it to be spicy beyond belief.

    3) Heads, heart, liver etc. are all something you might find when ordering a meat dish…… especially chicken.

    4) No-one knows what a fortune cookie is in China

    5) Some “Chinese” dishes just don’t exist in China. I always used to love Mongolian beef back in the states but in almost 3 years of living in China I’ve never seen it anywhere.

    6) there is no such thing as standard chow mein, (which only means fried noodles) you have to specify what you want fried with the noodles :) .

    Thats all I can think of at the moment.

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