Sichuan/Szechuan pepper

Responding to Hyerbowler’s questions about Szechuan cooking in NYC in the 1970’s.

On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a number of mom and pop Szechuan restaurants opened in the early 1970s on upper Broadway (95th Street, 97th Street, 105th Street, 110th Street and there were others) all of which featured non-Cantonese food (and what we’d call Szechuan today.) The food was very different from old reliables in that area, and people knew there was something new going on.

At the same time (and maybe a bit earlier), a very sharp fella named Ed Schoenfield recruited a number of chefs from Taiwan and China, opening several “more fancy” kinds of places in midtown which also featured non-Cantonese food. (I believe he also had a role in operating “Szechuan” on 95th and Broadway.

Here is a link from Eater where he reminiscences about that era. (I should add that in Chinatown, there were also Szechuan restaurants at that time, including Hwa Yaun (back in operation again now), Say Eng Look 456, and others but it was the Upper West Side, IMO, that led the way.

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Good enough for me. :slight_smile:

Back to Taiwan in September, may pick up a few cans to sample. Saw quite a few places that stocked them on last trip. Locos as well as true abalone.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shark’s fin, birds nest, abalone. Walked a single street block in Taipei that had at least 20 shops with floor to ceiling inventory of above. Pretty awesome!!