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What Brings America Together? Chinese Food

Every town, no matter how small or homogeneous, had at least one Chinese restaurant.


In the past 19 days, we covered 4,600 miles, four time zones, and 13 states, and we learned that if there's one thing that unifies the country, it's Chinese food. As a Chinese-American, I was tickled to find that every town, no matter how small or homogeneous, had at least one Chinese restaurant. Although I was curious to see what exactly passed for Chinese food in rural Arkansas, our whirlwind schedule kept us from sampling the local kung pao chickens and lo mein. Today's lunch in San Francisco (full disclosure: it was at Henry's Hunan Restaurant, owned by my family) was our the first taste of Chinese food in almost three weeks. Pictured above is, in my mind, the quintessential example of Chinese food in America. A concoction of Chinese-spiced ground pork and onions sandwiched between onion cake-like crusts, it was my grandmother's attempt to sandwichify Chinese food. It's neither Chinese nor American, but boy is it delicious.

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