As a young child in the 1950s the most exotic food in portland, Maine was Italian food. Every Sunday night my father drove into the city and brought home a pizza and antipasto salad. Otherwise the port city offered a wide range of fish. It wasn't until our family moved to the South Shore of Boston that my brothers and sisters first ate Chinese food.
Not IN Chinatown near South Station, but a restaurant in Randolph, Mass.
The name escapes my memory, but I loved the Oriental decor and the Polynesian poo-poo platter of spare ribs, fried chicken, egg rolls, and pork slices surrounding a decorative volcano with a sterno can providing the flames. My father introduced us to chow mein, fried rice, and other savory dishes. WE ate at the Pu Pu Palace for years, never realizing the cuisine had been tamed for white people.
Over the years I've dined on Chinese food in Boston, New York, LA, Miami, London, Paris, Hamburg, Chengdu, Kumming, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
My favorite dish has been General Tso's chicken named after Zuo Zongtang, a military leader from Hunan Province, although no one from that province has ever heard of the spicy chicken dish, since chef Peng invented General Tso's chicken at his a New York restaurant in 1977.
Sadly chef Peng passed away this weekend in unnan.
Unknown to many, but loved by all who love General Tso's chicken.
He was 99.