The story begins during the halcyon days of the Lower East Side where, as Jennifer 8. Lee, the producer of ‘The Search for General Tso,’ said, “Jews and Chinese were the two largest non-Christian immigrant groups” at the turn of the century.
So while it’s true that Chinese restaurants were notably open on Sundays and during holidays when other restaurants would be closed, the two groups were linked not only by proximity, but by otherness. Jewish affinity for Chinese food “reveals a lot about immigration history and what it’s like to be outsiders,” she explained.
I like the idea that, through exclusion, some people still found a way to feel included.