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The Cantonese readily absorbed these cosmopolitan influences and, being great travelers themselves, soon emigrated to Europe and America.
They were the first to establish Chinese restaurants ouside their own country and to make Chinese cooking known to the West.
It wasn't until after World War II that Asian cuisines (notably Chinese, Japanese and Polynesian) piqued the interest of mainstream America.
From the beginning, Asian dishes intended for American diners were adapted to suit expectations.In the 1960s Polynesian theme restaurants and tiki bars were all the rage.While Chinese food was introduced to America in the mid-19th century, Vietnamese (Japanese, Thai, etc.) cuisine was generally unknown to mainstream American diners until the 1970s.By the 1920s, Chinese restaurants dotted the American landscape, and one was as likely to find a chop suey' parlor in Kansas City as in New York or San Francisco, even though the typical menu in such places bore small resemblance to the foods the Chinese themselves ate.