8. General Tso’s Chicken
Although this dish can be found at nearly any Chinese restaurant in the United States, General Tso’s Chicken is actually not of Chinese origin. The dish was first invented by a Hunanese man named Peng Chang-kuei, who created it after moving to Taiwan following the Chinese civil war. He named the dish after Zuo Zongtang, a military leader from the Hunan Province. The original flavor of the chicken was sour, hot, and extremely salty — nothing like the General Tso’s chicken we know today.
Peng later moved to New York City and opened a Chinese food restaurant on 44th Street, where he reinvented the dish’s flavor. He boosted the chicken with an abundance of sugar to appeal to American taste buds, turning it into an instant favorite.