February 07, 2015
As it turns out, there is much to learn about the history behind the dish and the military man whose name it bears. Last month, filmmaker Ian Cheney released a new documentary called 'The Search for General Tso', exploring the rise of Chinese food in the United States and the 19th century Hunanese general after which the famous chicken platter is named.
General Zuo Zongtang, still memorialized in Hunan province after all these years, was best known for his role in suppressing the Taiping peasant rebellion. His connection to chicken remains unclear even among his descendants, though that's no reason not to watch 'The Search for General Tso'.
According to a review at Slate, Cheney's documentary strikes the desired balance between entertainment and education, providing a backdrop for the political and social contexts surrounding the emergence of Chinese restaurants in America.
Read the full story here.