Historic (rec.food.historic) Discussing and discovering how food was made and prepared way back when--From ancient times down until (& possibly including or even going slightly beyond) the times when industrial revolution began to change our lives.

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Old 30-09-2003, 12:16 AM
Alf Christophersen
 
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Default American Chop Suey and Goulash...

On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 13:15:06 GMT, Phil
wrote:

likely to be a southern [Chinese] thing, and/or the majority of the
Chinese immigrants to America, until fairly recently, were from the
South, and spoke Cantonese.


Has always heard that Chop Suey is an american dish, created by
Chinese immigrants.

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Old 30-09-2003, 11:31 AM
Phil
 
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Default American Chop Suey and Goulash...

In article , Alf
Christophersen wrote:

On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 13:15:06 GMT, Phil
wrote:

likely to be a southern [Chinese] thing, and/or the majority of the
Chinese immigrants to America, until fairly recently, were from the
South, and spoke Cantonese.


Has always heard that Chop Suey is an american dish, created by
Chinese immigrants.


It's probably adapted to some extent to the battery of available
American vegetables (and some transplanted Chinese ones) but the safe
statement seems to be that Chinese immigrant cooks cooked chop suey in
19th-century America, but that is not sufficient proof of its
conception then and there.

Phil
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Old 30-09-2003, 02:18 PM
ASmith1946
 
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Default American Chop Suey and Goulash...

Phil:

Can you please email me off line re American chop Suey?

Andy Smith
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Old 02-10-2003, 03:14 AM
Mark Zanger
 
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Default American Chop Suey and Goulash...

Phil, I think "American Chop Suey" is differentiated from Chinese-American,
by *not* having soy sauce or bean sprouts, but being a stew of beef and
celery served on rice. I think the origin is the WWI army manual recipe for
"Chop Suey Stew" which I quote in my American History Cookbook. Jean
Anderson's _American Century Cookbook_ also dates it from the 1920s.
Chinese-American chop suey is clearly older, was served in 19th Century
restaurants in Boston and San Francisco, and is a bad transliteration of
something from Choisan that has never been identified, although suey is
probably Tsui (cabbage or general food). Chop may be an abbreviation of
pidgin English "chop-chop," meaning 'fast,' or just English 'chop' as slice
or cut rapidly.

Goulash was originally a cowherd's soup of stringy beef and caraway, later
dominated by paprika. It has a weird mirror life with chili con carne, which
was originally a cowherd's soup of stringy beef and peppers, to which cumin
seed and beans were added around San Antonio... But the goulash you refer to
is goulash in the sense of "mixed up random stuff," presumably a response to
the association of the dish in Europe with Gypsies, and imported either by
German immigrants in the 19th Century, or directly responding to German and
Hungarian immigrants early in the 20th century. I'd look for early 20th
century cites on a dish that clearly isn't mainly beef and paprika.

Do you have a clear cite for Marzetti's restaurant, such as where it was?


--
-Mark H. Zanger
author, The American History Cookbook, The American Ethnic Cookbook for
Students
www.ethnicook.com
www.historycook.com

Book signing: Jamaicaway Books, Jamaica Plain, Mass. Oct. 19, 3-5





"Phil" wrote in message
...
Hello again, all!

After getting a touch off-topic on the oat/haggis thread, I thought I'd
pursue my additional questions under a new subject line.

The mention of homemade chow mein (I make chow mein all the time, but
it's probably something different) had me wondering about the
mysterious origins of two (or more) differently named, but otherwise
similar, dishes.

After attending culinary school, working in several fine New York
restaurants, and doing quite a bit of outside reading, I can say I've
been exposed to most of the German, Austrian, and Hungarian
permutations on the goulash theme. Most involve paprika as an important
seasoning, but apart from that, there's a pretty broad spectrum of
soups and stews, thick and thin, spicy and not-so-spicy, red and white.

At some point I remembered being served, as a kid, a dish my mother
called "goulash". At the time I had never experienced it in any other
form and thought nothing of it: that was what goulash was.

As I recall it was a sort of homemade Hamburger Helper, the kind of
one-dish meal a busy housewife might throw together. Basically it was
ground beef, pasta (usually elbow macaroni), and a brown gravy, mixed
together and functioning, essentially, as a stew. Chopped onion was
probably involved, too.

I have since encountered other people who recognize this as goulash
(some of whom would not recognize beef cubes in a paprika sauce, light
on the marjoram, as goulash). Variants I've heard of include using some
or all tomato sauce (or soup) in lieu of the gravy, and I've been told
by various people that what they grew up with is known as American Chop
Suey (or sometimes just Chop Suey), and some Midwsesterners I know
swear that this same dish, more or less, is also known, mysteriously,
as John Marzetti. (Although the versions of John Marzetti I've seen
seem to involve the canned cream-soup sauce, or sometimes some kind of
tomato sauce, with melted, processed cheese.)

So what relationship, if any, does this beef-a-roni stuff have to the
European goulash traditions? What possible relevance could this have to
Chop Suey? And who, in Heaven's name, is John Marzetti anyway???

Does anybody have any light to shine on this murky set of seemingly
disjointed questions?

An example of the kind of thing I'm thinking of would be my own pet
theory that the Central European goulash tradition was brought, more or
less intact, to the U.S. by German immigrants, where it evolved, via
goulash with noodles, to the modern "American goulash". Apart from my
own family, with its mixed German, Irish, and other roots, it seems as
though most of the people I've met who call the stuff goulash are of
Pennsylvania Deutsch ancestry (these same people also seem to have a
peculiar variant on beef Stroganoff, too, as a stew -- it's good, but
nothing like the Franco-Russian chafing-dish classic).

But that doesn't address the question of American Chop Suey (BTW, the
story of chop suey -- the Chinese restaurant menu item, I mean -- being
an American dish appears to be false). As for John Marzetti, at least
it doesn't harken back to another, largely unrelated, dish, but I'm
curious about the name.

Phil



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Old 05-10-2003, 09:58 AM
Wayne Boatwright
 
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Default American Chop Suey and Goulash...

"Mark Zanger" wrote in
news:[email protected]:

Phil, I think "American Chop Suey" is differentiated from
Chinese-American, by *not* having soy sauce or bean sprouts, but being
a stew of beef and celery served on rice. I think the origin is the
WWI army manual recipe for "Chop Suey Stew" which I quote in my
American History Cookbook. Jean Anderson's _American Century Cookbook_
also dates it from the 1920s. Chinese-American chop suey is clearly
older, was served in 19th Century restaurants in Boston and San
Francisco, and is a bad transliteration of something from Choisan that
has never been identified, although suey is probably Tsui (cabbage or
general food). Chop may be an abbreviation of pidgin English
"chop-chop," meaning 'fast,' or just English 'chop' as slice or cut
rapidly.

Goulash was originally a cowherd's soup of stringy beef and caraway,
later dominated by paprika. It has a weird mirror life with chili con
carne, which was originally a cowherd's soup of stringy beef and
peppers, to which cumin seed and beans were added around San
Antonio... But the goulash you refer to is goulash in the sense of
"mixed up random stuff," presumably a response to the association of
the dish in Europe with Gypsies, and imported either by German
immigrants in the 19th Century, or directly responding to German and
Hungarian immigrants early in the 20th century. I'd look for early
20th century cites on a dish that clearly isn't mainly beef and
paprika.

Do you have a clear cite for Marzetti's restaurant, such as where it
was?



Jumping in here... Having been there many times, the original marzetti's
restaurant was in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and was a family run operation
for decades.

Wayne


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Old 06-10-2003, 12:41 AM
Phil
 
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Default American Chop Suey and Goulash...

In article , Wayne
Boatwright wrote:

"Mark Zanger" wrote in
news:[email protected]:

Phil, I think "American Chop Suey" is differentiated from
Chinese-American, by *not* having soy sauce or bean sprouts, but being
a stew of beef and celery served on rice. I think the origin is the
WWI army manual recipe for "Chop Suey Stew" which I quote in my
American History Cookbook. Jean Anderson's _American Century Cookbook_
also dates it from the 1920s. Chinese-American chop suey is clearly
older, was served in 19th Century restaurants in Boston and San
Francisco, and is a bad transliteration of something from Choisan that
has never been identified, although suey is probably Tsui (cabbage or
general food). Chop may be an abbreviation of pidgin English
"chop-chop," meaning 'fast,' or just English 'chop' as slice or cut
rapidly.

Goulash was originally a cowherd's soup of stringy beef and caraway,
later dominated by paprika. It has a weird mirror life with chili con
carne, which was originally a cowherd's soup of stringy beef and
peppers, to which cumin seed and beans were added around San
Antonio... But the goulash you refer to is goulash in the sense of
"mixed up random stuff," presumably a response to the association of
the dish in Europe with Gypsies, and imported either by German
immigrants in the 19th Century, or directly responding to German and
Hungarian immigrants early in the 20th century. I'd look for early
20th century cites on a dish that clearly isn't mainly beef and
paprika.

Do you have a clear cite for Marzetti's restaurant, such as where it
was?



Jumping in here... Having been there many times, the original marzetti's
restaurant was in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and was a family run operation
for decades.


Jean Anderson's book seems to support this (mentioned both by Mark and
by ConnieG in this thread). Whether her information is accurate I can't
say, myself. Certainly the people who have described Johnny Marzetti to
me have been from (or lived in) South Central Ohio, which suggests
they'd know more about it than this New Yorker.

Phil


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