Who is General Tso? What is his chicken? Why do Americans think it’s so goddamned delicious? All of these questions and more are answered in The Search for General Tso, a documentary tracing the origins of the Chinese-American food through the beloved takeout dish of the same name. The film will premier at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and the trailer is making us hungry.
Here’s the synopsis, provided by the official website:
Anchoring the film is an upbeat quest, through small towns and big cities across America and beyond, to understand the origins and popularity of Chinese American food and its top-selling dish. Who was General Tso? And why do nearly fifty thousand restaurants serve deep-fried chicken bearing his name?
Using this Americanized dish and its mysterious mastermind as a lens onto a larger story of immigration, adaptation, and innovation, the film follows a lighthearted journey, grounded in cultural and culinary history, through restaurants, Chinatowns, and the American imagination. Visits to present-day Chinese restaurants spark forays into the past, guided by chefs, scholars, and the occasional opinionated customer. The film’s lively soundtrack and shadow-puppet animations contribute both whimsy and momentum, as viewers find they’re on a search to answer a deeper question: how did America’s Chinese food become so… American?
Question: Aside from Fortune Cookie, where do you like to go in Shanghai to get a General Tso-style chicken fix? We’ve gotten some picks in the past but presumably new places have come to peoples’ attention. Also this has nothing to do with today’s date.
Previously on Shanghaiist: Eddie Huang eats at Yang’s Fry Dumpling, Fortune Cookie, and more to conclude his Shanghai trip