Developed by Americans of Chinese descent,
Chinese food was the first ethnic cuisine to be highly commodified at the national level as a type of food primarily to be prepared and consumed away from home. San Francisco had the largest Asian population and thus the largest Chinatown and a variety of restaurants serving delicious cuisine.
At the end of the 19th century, food from China began to attract a fast growing non-Chinese clientele of diverse ethnic backgrounds in major cities across the nation. By 1980, Chinese food had become the most popular ethnic cuisine in the U.S. Many food critics report . . . it still is.
In addition, Chinese food has been a vital economic lifeline for Chinese Americas as one of the two main sources of employment (laundries being the other) for Chinese immigrants and families for decades. Restaurants and home cooking alike use a Chinese wok pan for simple stir fry and other popular dishes of Asian influence.