72-Year-Old Man Has Eaten At 8,000 Restaurants In Journey To Find The Best Chinese Food
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If you thought you were a fan of Chinese takeaways then you may need to think again as one 72-year-old man living in America has visited nearly 8,000 Chinese restaurants over the last forty years.
David R Chan from Los Angeles has kept a spreadsheet detailing each visit, which he understands as representing the changing Chinese immigrant culture within the US.
His heart-warming journey began as a search for identity, as David is a third-generation Chinese American.
The retired tax lawyer told Menuism: "When I entered the workforce in the 1970s, that coincided with the rise of what we think of as authentic Chinese food in North America.
"As such, my goal was to try every authentic Chinese restaurant in the Los Angeles area at least once."
David didn’t stop there, however, as his search for authentic Chinese food brought him all around the country, including places like New York, San Francisco, and Mississipi.
However, the humble guy wouldn’t describe himself as a ‘foodie’, despite beginning his conquest back in the 1990s when he bought his first computer.
This life-long passion of David’s has led him to share snaps of his dishes to Instagram.
His followers can expect mouth-watering pictures of dim sum, fried tilapia, and Cantonese sponge cake, to name a few.
Surprisingly, the 73-year-old did not enjoy Chinese food the first time he tried it as an adult.
He told the BBC: "The food was not sophisticated.
"We would go to banquets, I'd eat soy sauce on rice, and nothing else."
David then spoke of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and how it inspired him to explore his own heritage through food.
"At the beginning, it was just a search for identity.
"My interest in the history of Chinese in the US led me to eat Chinese food and see what it was like to be Chinese in different parts of the country."
He soon discovered how varied Chinese cuisine was, and thus his search began for the most authentic food he could find.
This was helped by growing immigration from Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong from the 1960s onwards, as it meant Chinese cuisine became a lot more diverse and more representative of different regional cultures.
So, if you ever find yourself in Los Angeles and you’re craving Chinese food, then David recommends restaurants in San Gabriel Valley.
However, he warns against eating the cuisine in Fargo, North Dakota, as that is where he had his worst meal.