Two America graduate students have opened a Chinese restaurant in Shanghai – notably, not selling local cuisine but American versions of local cuisine.
The restaurant, Fortune Cookie, intentionally sells westernised versions of Chinese meals, such as Kung Pao chicken which is familiar to any US citizen, but a dish that doesn’t exist on a traditional Chinese menu. History applicants should consider the Westernization of food in a broader historical context, such as how the British penchant for curry is tied to its colonizing history of India.
The restaurant is not the first or biggest of its kind to repackage and sell cuisine to its originating country – last year, Domino’s opened its first store in Milan, selling pizza pies with ham and pineapple on them in sharp contrast to the traditional Italian pizza toppings, size and flavour profile.
Geography applicants should think about how globalization has impacted the food industry not only in cases of the transportation of food from one culture to another, but how food culture has been imported and hybridized with local custom. A good example of this is McDonald’s global spread, marked by local restaurants having regional variations on global cuisines.
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