It’s a somber day for lovers and fanatics of General Tso’s Chicken around the world.
On November 30, the inventor of the dish that became a global phenomenon—Chef Peng Chang-kuei—passed away due to complications from Pneumonia at the age of 98 in Tapei, Tawain. Chef Peng didn’t just create everyone’s favorite thing to order at a Chinese restaurant or Panda Express, though, he was also the founder of the famous Hunan-style restaurant chain Peng’s Garden Hunan Restaurant.
In an interview with the China Times, Peng revealed how he came up with the delicious chicken dish during a four-day visit by U.S. Seventh Fleet commander Admiral Arthur W. Radford. According to Peng, after three days of hosting the admiral he decided to shake things up a bit by chopping chicken into big chunks, frying it until it was crispy and mixing it with a combination of different sauces. When the admiral, who was very impressed with the dish, asked what it was called, Peng had to think on his feet and instantly came up with “General Tso’s Chicken.” There you have it, folks, the beginning and end of a legend.
I know what I’m having for dinner tonight.