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Chinese (American) Food ... where does it taste like "back then"?

tonmeister | Apr 8, 201705:52 PM

This might sound a little crazy. Please bear with me.

I live in New York City and eat a fair amount of American Chinese Food. None of it reminds me of the taste of Chinese food as I knew it growing up in the 80s and 90s. Part of this is because I change regions - I moved from the south to the Northeast. But I know from experience that the taste of things like (but not limited to) eggrolls, duck sauce, sesame chicken, orange beef, etc is blander, milder, and less interesting than the food I ate growing up.

So my question is this: Do you have a similar experience? and ... can anyone (regardless of location) suggest places where the American Chinese food remains unchanged over decades?

Here in NYC, the chinese food is either horrible (take-out, American Chinese food) or great (szechuan and hunan hubs in Manhattan and Queens; David Chan restaurants, etc). The take out places, one on every corner, are terrible --- flavorless chicken and sugary sauces. Cheap ingredients in a plastic box. I'm curious if there are significant ingredient adaptations (recipe changes, not quality of chicken, shrimp, etc that is beyond the restaurant's control) that make the difference?

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