Supermarkets are the one exception to the rule. In California, you will sometimes find little jars of duck sauce in the Asian foods section. But most supermarket duck sauce sucks, so it hardly even counts at all.

Jews

Like the Chinese, Jews immigrated and settled America's urban ghettos. It's in the similarities of each group's experiences that many people suggest drew the Jews to their excessive love of, dare I say obsession, with Chinese food.

Jews practically ritualize the practice of going out for their weekly Chinese meal. When I was growing up, my family and many others that we knew would go out for Chinese food once or twice a week, usually to the same restaurant. We'd generally favor one restaurant for several years due to its superior egg rolls, and when that place started to slip in quality, we'd move on to the new upstart place with the great boneless ribs. We never ate Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, Japanese— never, not once until sometime late into my high school years.

We would celebrate birthdays with Chinese, do take-out for sporting events, meet other families (especially the Jewish ones) for social gatherings. We were on our way out to Chinese food when my mom keeled over in pain and went into labor with
my little sister.

And no matter what, Jews always eat Chinese on Christmas. There you will find them commiserating with their Buddhist/ Confucist/Taoist friends. Or with the other Jews, pu-pu platters a-blazin', eating with forks and sloshing their fried rice with dollops of sticky duck sauce.

Chinese food is one thing Jews really get fired up about. It is not rare to hear among them heated arguments about which place has the better moo-shu or scallion pancakes.

Searching the Web on these matters, I have found countless anecdotes of Jewish families that consider pork fried rice and spare ribs Kosher—just as long as the pig flesh never leaves the restaurant. Granted, these are only stories I found on the Web, but even if only one is true, they definitely all illustrate a common point—that Jews all share a crazy obsession with Chinese food.

Here is a joke commonly found on Jewish humor Web sites:

"If 5762 is the year according to the Jewish calendar and 4700 is the year according to the Chinese calendar, what is 1062? ...
           ...The total number of years that Jews went without Chinese food."



One of Lenny Bedoian's favorite Chinese restaurants
Many have long held the theory that Jewish and Chinese immigrants made buddy- buddy in the ghettos and that Jews were drawn to Chinese food because of the many familiar ingredients it shares with their European culinary roots—cabbage, onions, leafy greens, cheap-ass meats.

But really, who cares why the Jews are so crazy about Chinese food? In and of itself, it's not important, really. There's a much bigger question here: for all the reasons
people rationalize the Jewish love for Chinese, it should work the other way around too. But the logic doesn't stand up. Have you ever heard of Chinese people gushing about corned beef on rye or matzoh ball soup or latkes?
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