Jenny 8. Lee on Chinese take-out food [VIDEO]

Last week I interviewed Jennifer 8. Lee about Chinese take-out food after she was finished with her speaking engagement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She’s a former metro reporter for the New York Times who took a buy out package in late 2009, and now she’s doing freelance writing.

Lee has a passion for Chinese food. Her talk at UMass to the 5 College Pan Asian Network was a take on her book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food. But her interest isn’t just about Chinese food in the United States; I guess you might call it the political economy, or cultural history of Chinese food in the U.S..

One thing I didn’t know before talking to Lee is that to find an authentic Chinese food restaurant, not an Americanized version, look on the menu for lamb dishes. If a Chinese menu includes lamb dishes, it’s most likely serious about cooking for Chinese people.