Everyone has eaten General Tso’s chicken at one time or another but probably just didn’t know about it. Better known now as sweet-and-sour, General Tso’s chicken is a sweet, slightly spicy, deep-fried chicken dish. Many might not know that its origins are actually American and unknown in China before it was introduced to Chinese by chefs returning from the United States. The Search for General Tso is a documentary film about the history of China’s most famous international dish, directed by Ian Cheney and produced by Amanda Murray and Jennifer 8. Lee. The documentary is an investigation into the history of Chinese food in America.
In 2008, Lee wrote a book about the history of Chinese food in the United States and around the world, titled The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, documenting her knowledge of Chinese-American cuisine. Lee even documents how fortune cookies are found in many countries but not China and may have originated in Japan. As a result The Search for General Tso, is an attempt to resurrect this rich history of Chinese food outside of China. But for one day, it will be coming to Vancouver at a theatre near you.