Wednesday 10 September 2014

Egg Rolls, Chicken Balls & Pizza Pie

The first ad for takeout in the United States appeared in a newspaper in the 1920's in Los Angeles.  It was for the Kin Chu Cafe, "the only place on the West Coast making and delivering real Chinese dishes".  Take out would have taken off if not for the rationing of the Great Depression and World War II.


However, with the return of the war veterans and the purchasing of houses in the suburbs, take out did take off.  People were busy "looking at television", as my Grandma used to say, or mowing the lawn.  They didn't have time to make elaborate meals.  Instead, they picked up their black dial phone and placed an order at the local Chinese take out restaurant.  Food would arrive in an "oyster pail" a wire handled white paper bucket.


The first ad for a pizza delivery place appeared in a Los Angeles newspaper in 1952.  The Casa d'Amore offered free delivery with pizza orders of $2.50 or more.  The pizza was based on the dish made in Naples:  "a pie made from yeast dough and filled with any number of different centers, each one containing tomatoes.  Cheese, mushrooms, anchovies, onions and so on, may be used."  Each pizza arrived in a large square cardboard box.

Today, you can place a takeout order online.  You are not limited to Chinese or Italian food, but are offered a wide variety of dishes.  According to one blogger, nearly half of all food eaten at a restaurant is consumed on site.  Thirty eight percent of food is taken out and 15% is delivered. The Generation X crowd prefers takeout while Millennials prefer delivery.

Neapolitan style pizza courtesy

Note:  For more information, read The Fortune Cookie Chronicles (Jennifer Lee).

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