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A Chef from Guan Fu Szechuan Relates the Cultural Significance of Kung Pao Chicken

No discourse on Chinese food can be complete without mention being made of the iconic Kung Pao Chicken. It’s fascinating taste has been enthralling generations since time immemorial. At Guan Fu Szechuan, we consider it significant to apprise our esteemed customers of the cultural and historical perspective to food. After all, food against the backdrop of history tastes all the deeper.

History of Kung Pao Chicken

According to historians, and in part to popular legend, the name of the dish has been taken from the name of an official of the influential Qing dynasty. However, with the onset of the so-called Cultural Revolution, the dish suffered decline for its apparent connection with the imperial era.

Considered to be the most sought-after Asian food in Flushing, Kung Pao Chicken is particularly noted for its unchallenged dominance in times of cultural crises. Although it did suffer a major backlash during the Revolution, it had to be brought back under the rule of Deng.

Cultural Significance

Does Kung Pao Chicken hold particular cultural significance? Indeed. It inheres in the Chinese blood in more ways than one. More apparently, it is widely served during the New Year.

However, one cannot overlook the periods of drama through which the dish had to trudge through. The tale involves rivalry, intrigue and a degree of hegemonic one-upmanship.

In the year 1968, the US officially banned the import of Sichuan pepper. US experts believed that the item was carrying an exotic fungal disease which could spread to the farmlands of America. Although the ban was lifted in 2005, Americans had grown used to Kung Pao Chicken without pepper!

Therefore, the cry for the authentic variant grew by leaps and bounds. Keep in mind that hankering after kosher food is only possible against an allegedly inauthentic version. Consequently, back home, the dish assumed a renewed cultural and commercial significance.


If you type, Chinese takeout near me, Google will throw up a staggering range of traditional delicacies. Chinese cuisine is particularly known for its diversity and multi-influenced treasure-trove. At Guan Fu Szechuan, we leave no stone unturned to uphold the very aspect of Chinese food.

Whatever the historical and cultural perspective to Chinese food, the quintessential Chinese tang is what attracts gourmands from far and wide. Its immense proliferation across the globe is proof of its enduring influence, both culturally and commercially.