<img src = "https://media.npr.org/assets/ img / 2016/02/17 / chinesecooks_sq-d7675bb458cdeee231854464f4155bc117c34cde-s100-c15.jpg "data-original =" https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/17/chinesecooks_sq-d7675bb458cdeee231854464f4155bc117c34cde-s100.jpg "class =" img lazyOnLoad "alt =" Lo My loophole: How US Immigration Law fueled a Chinese restaurant boom. emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art…1007 & lang = DE In the textile industry and especially in the labor force, therefore, the Chow – Mein sandwich was sold ", she says. Lim studied the sandwich for her dissertation at Brown University.
"Well, let's just say that, I consider myself the expert on the Chow-Mein sandwich, and when I studied it, my friends called me" The Chow-Mein sandwich Chicks, "she says.
Chinese immigrants first arrived in Fall River at the end of the 19th century, many coming from the West Coast after working on the country's Transcontinental Railroad, but they were affected by hostilities in the country Related to the Federal Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prohibited the immigration of all Chinese workers, they came to cities on the East Coast, such as the Fall River, to look for business opportunities.
"Many Chinese eventually opened laundries. Laundry did not require much language skills, "says Lim." And then there were tea rooms in the back of the laundries, and after a while you got restaurants. "
But the success of a restaurant naturally depended on its ability to provide food At that time, Fall River was a textile factory, with mainly factory workers from Poland, Ireland and French Canada working, so Chinese restaurants tried to adapt.
"Once again, when you think about it, [European] Immigrant groups, what do you know about Chinese food? But they do know something called a sandwich, "says Lim." A sandwich becomes something accessible to them to simplify the idea of Chinese cooking. "
Chinese restaurant owners recognized that it was an unfamiliar dish for the Europeans At the height of its popularity was the accessibility of the main attraction of the Chow-Mein sandwich: in a working-class city, the sandwich filled up quickly and cheaply, costing only a penny In the end, Fall River's immigration has produced something that was neither Chinese nor Irish, Polish, or French Canadian.
"The identity is American, but because of the population mix in this area unique Fall River," says Lim.  Back in Mee Sum, Mark demonstrates how to make a real Chow-Mein sandwich today Fall River's specialty Chow my noodles into a fryer, then douse them with the restaurant's specialty sauce and a healthy pile of chicken, and finally put the hamburger bun on top. This method ensures that the noodles of the sandwich absorb little of the sauce, but not so much that they become moist.
Dave Lussier grew up in Fall River and spent his childhood eating Chow-Mein sandwiches with his family. He said it's the sandwiches that make it so special. Ho Mee noodles are specially purchased by Fall River's Oriental Chow My Company, founded in 1938 by Frederick Wong, a Chinese immigrant from Canton, China. The Oriental Chow Mein Company still exists today, and Lussier and other locals say they are Crispy, deep-fried noodles that make up a large part of what makes up a classic Chow-Mein sandwich.
"You get the special noodles, they give you lots of chicken, it's delicious," says Lussier. "You know, it's a joke that it's a sandwich because you can not take it." For a true Fall River Touch, he says he should top up the sandwich with vinegar.
The dish is such a classic Fall River meal that in the 1970s a band called Alika and the Happy Samoans even wrote a homage song to the Chow My Sandwich.
In the end, Mark says the sandwich looks weird by today's standards.
"Now we're laughing at the Chow Mein sandwich, right? But I mean, that's our business Many children go through college so they can now find better jobs and get better education, "she says.
In many ways, it's the classic story of every immigrant who goes after the American Dream.
This story is from the WCAI member station.