At lunch today one of the guys ordered General Tso’s Chicken. This reminded of me of an article I’d read recently on how, in most of the world, ethnic food is pretty much the same dishes immigrants would have made back in the “old country”. But in the US, the ethnic foods change, sometimes significantly, to meet American tastes. And in a lot of cases, the dishes are completely American.
In the case of Chinese food, you simply cannot go over there and order most of the stuff that’s served in the US. General Tso’s Chicken is a great case in point. It’s not exactly clear where it was invented — perhaps in the US, perhaps in Taiwan — but it is clear that nobody’s ever heard of it in mainland China.
One other interesting example from the article: Fortune Cookies. In China, these are considered “American” food.