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    Welcome to General Tso’s hometown! Xiangyin, Hunan

    By Jennifer 8. Lee | February 20, 2008

    This is the billboard from when I visited General Tso‘s hometown in rural Hunan province in my journey to find the source of General Tso’s chicken. (yes he is real, he played a huge part in suppressing the Taiping Rebellion, started by a guy who thought he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ)

    A billboard welcoming General Tso at his hometown in Xiying, Hunan

    It basically says Welcome to the Hometown of the Famous Qing Dynasty Figure General Tso, Xiangyin. (The transliteration of General Tso’s name in modern pinyin Chinese is Zuo Zongtang, 左宗棠). Zuo is roughly pronounced ‘juoh.’

    Here is a close up of the General himself.

    A close-up shot of General Tso at his hometown in Xiying, Hunan

    His family — five generations later — is still hanging out in that town. They actually have a whole section of the village named after them “The Zuo Family Section.”

    The short story is there is no General Tso’s chicken in his hometown, but they still think fondly of his military exploits.

    What I discovered. In America, General Tso, like Colonel Sanders, is known for chicken and not war. In China, he is know for war and not chicken.

    Topics: Chinese Food, General Tso | No Comments »

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