Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why Are Chinese Restaurants so Ubiquitous?

Before heading to our location last night, we stopped to speak to the owner of a local Chinese restaurant for some reservations.
Upon leaving the place I got to thinking about Chinese restaurants and the fact that there are so many of them. Everywhere I travel in the US and Canada I see a good number of Chinese restaurants. What makes them so ubiquitous?
Marginal Revolution featured a post today on this very question:
"Why did Chinese immigrants to America start so many restaurants? Because Chinese cuisine is glorious, right? Well, no. Chinese immigrants started a lot of laundries, too, and there is nothing wonderful about Chinese ways of washing clothes. As Jennifer Lee explains in this excellent talk, the first Chinese immigrants were laborers. They were taking jobs away from American men, and this caused problems. Restaurants and laundries were much safer immigrant jobs because cooking and cleaning were women’s work."
text per marginal revolution

2 comments:

eric said...

Yeah, it's not like the Chinese have a monopoly on good food, for crying outloud. It's alright food, sure. French cuisine, anybody?

dave said...

food is a gendered topic!