I’d never really heard of General Tso’s Chicken until I lived Calgary. Coming from Vancouver, most of the Chinese restaurants I went to served more ‘authentic’ Cantonese-style food, and we didn’t go to any of the Chinese-Canadian restaurants which dot the many small towns in North America (and the world?). It’s generally these Chinese-Canadian restaurants or restaurants which try to cater to non-asian food tastes that serve General Tso’s Chicken, Ginger Beef, Chop Suey and a whole host of not-really-authentic-Chinese foods. These dishes have likely come out of Chinese-Canadian/American ingenuity in trying to develop foods to serve at their restaurants which please the palates of those not so used to the tofu, soy sauce, oyster sauce and other spices and ingredients typically used in Chinese cooking.
Anyways, all that’s to say that Jennifer 8. Lee’s investigation into the origins of General Tso’s Chicken is pretty interesting.