You would think that Panda Express, being a Chinese-oriented fast food place, would be a great success in China, but the fast food chain isn’t quite sure this Americanized cuisine will appeal to the Chinese people. “The Chinese food we eat in America is very alien to Chinese people,” says writer Jennifer Lee. Certain dishes, while known in China for thousands of years, have been completely changed to appeal to the American consumer. When Jennifer Lee was doing her research, she went to the Hunan Province (hometown of General Tso) and showed a family a picture of Tso’s Chicken, a traditional Chinese dish here in America, but an apparently foreign dish to the Chinese people. The following questions have been raised: how does Americanized Chinese cuisine differ from Chinese cuisine? And how will that affect Panda Express’ success in China?
For starters, native Chinese cuisine is homemade and much more organic than Americanized, fast food Chinese cuisine. Furthermore, while Mandarin Chicken and Beef and Broccoli are American favorites, native Chinese people prefer Peking Duck and Lotus Rice Cakes. I feel that Panda Express would be successful in China because their menu differs from native offerings. While some native Chinese people might not like change, others may be more open minded and try new things. After all, the basic staples of the Chinese cuisine are incorporated in Panda Express’ menu such as rice, vegetables, and sauces and spice. Panda Express has always been one of my favorites; I hope it becomes one of China’s favorites, as well.