The burek – a pastry made of phyllo dough with various fillings, well-known in the Balkans, in Turkey (bürek) and also in the Near East by other names – probably arrived in Slovenia in the 1960s. Industrially, the most ambitious of the Yugoslav republics, Slovenia needed a workforce. And with that workforce – immigrants from the former Yugoslav republics – came the burek. To paraphrase Max Frisch: We called for a workforce and we got bureks! But the burek might have remained unknown to the majority of Slovenes if not, in the 1960s, “foreign” burek stands (run by Albanians from the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia) appeared in various Slovene towns with high concentrations of immigrants or soldiers. Until the…

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Chop suey is unknown to most Chinese other than those from Kwantung Province. However, it was this cheap and simple dish that became the icon of Chinese food in the U.S. before the advent of new Chinese immigration beginning in 1965. But why was it chop suey that became so important out of the rich repertoire of Chinese cuisine? What was the social and cultural context that facilitated the popularity of chop suey? Chop suey first made its presence felt in the U S in the late 19th century. At that time, under the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese immigrants were expelled from lucrative jobs and forced to enter the service sector. Many Chinese chose to work in the restaurant industry.…

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