Revisiting Chinese restaurants

A timely chat with a North Carolina scholar

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As a rule, this newsletter doesn’t traffic in hot takes. But I can’t help sharing one today: People should observe Christmas, or the movie-Chinese food duo that’s become known as “Jewish Christmas.” Not both.

I’ve been studying and writing about the relationship between Jews and Chinese food since before there was a cutesy name for the December 25 tradition, so I’m perhaps uniquely attuned to the cultural significance of it.1 To my mind, Hollywood and the New York City sensibility symbolized by egg rolls represent two major Jewish contributions to this country—and it stands to reason that some people who don’t participate in Christmas festivities might be looking for something to celebrate today.


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