A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Why did the potato cross the road?"/"He saw a fork up ahead.” (6/20)
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Entry from December 17, 2007
Texas of China (Szechuan/Sichuan province nickname)

China’s Szechuan province (also spelled “Sichuan” or “Szechwan") has been called the “Texas of China” since at least the 1890s. The province is large, has an agricultural base, has large energy resources, and also has spicy foods as Texas has.

Other Chinese provinces have also been called the “Texas of China,” but not nearly as frequently as Szechuan/Sichuan province.


Wikipedia: Sichuan
Sichuan (Chinese: 四川; pinyin: Sìchuān; Wade-Giles: Szŭ4-ch’uan1; Postal map spelling: Szechwan and Szechuan) is a province in western China with its capital at Chengdu.
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Sichuan has been historically known as the “Province of Abundance”. It is one of the major agricultural production bases of China. Grain, including rice and wheat, is the major product with output that ranked first in China in 1999. Commercial crops include citrus fruits, sugar canes, sweet potatoes, peaches and grapeseeds. Sichuan also had the largest output of pork among all the provinces and the second largest output of silkworm cocoons in China in 1999. Sichuan is rich in mineral resources. It has more than 132 kinds of proven underground mineral resources of which reserves of 11 kinds including vanadium, titanium, and lithium are the largest in China. The Panxi region alone possesses 13.3% of the reserves of iron, 93% of titanium, 69% of vanadium, 83% of cobalt of the whole country.

Sichuan is one of the major industrial bases of China. In addition to heavy industries such as coal, energy, iron and steel industry, the province has established a light manufacturing sector comprising building materials, wood processing, food and silk processing. 

Wikipedia: Szechuan cuisine
Szechuan cuisine, Szechwan cuisine, or Sichuan cuisine (Chinese: 四川菜 or 川菜) is a style of Chinese cuisine originating in Sichuan Province of southwestern China which has an international reputation for being hot and numbing (麻辣), because of the common ingredient Sichuan peppercorn (花椒). Although the region Sichuan is now romanized as Sichuan, the cuisine is still sometimes spelled Szechuan in the West. Translated, Sichuan means “Four Rivers”. The four styles are separated by location: Chengdu, Chongqing, the Greater River (Yangtze), and the Lesser River (Jialing).

The common ingredient in Szechuan cuisine is Sichuan peppercorn, or Fagara. This is an indigenous plant whose peppercorns produce a fragrant, numbing, almost citrusy spice. Also common are chilli, ginger and spicy herbs. This emphasis on spice may derive from the region’s warm, humid climate, and utilizes sophisticated food-preservation techniques which include pickling, salting, drying and smoking. Broad bean chili paste (simplified Chinese: 豆瓣酱; traditional Chinese: 豆瓣醬 or dòubànjiàng) is also a staple seasoning in Sichuan cuisine.

Common preparation techniques in Szechuan cuisine include stir frying, steaming and braising, but a complete list would include more than 20 distinct techniques. Beef is somewhat more common in Szechuan cuisine than it is in other Chinese cuisines, perhaps due to the widespread use of oxen in the region. Stir-fried beef is often cooked until chewy, while steamed beef is sometimes coated with rice flour to produce a very rich gravy. 

Chinese Food
Szechuan (Sichuan)
Pronounced “ZAY-chwan”, Szechuan is like the Texas of China—big and culturally distinct, especially its food. Isolated from many of the other areas of China due to it’s imposing geography, but historically its location as a crossroads brought in influences from the Indian subcontinent and all parts west. Its signature spice is Szechuan peppercorn, which is botanically unrelated to black pepper, and far spicier with a distinct, perfumey quality. Hot red peppers are also used extensively, giving Szechuan cuisine a well-earned reputation for being fiery. In a restaurant, these dishes can usually be modified to be more or less spicy to taste, so heat-sensitive diners needn’t avoid these tasty dishes as long as they take care to specify their preferences. Hot peppers are both literally and figuratively addictive, although they cause no ill health concerns. Consequently, people can build up a tolerance for them, so by starting small and gradually increasing the fieriness of your dishes, you can learn to enjoy their character as the Chinese do. Obviously, dishes such as “Szechuan chicken” come from their area, and while the sauce and vegetables used in these dishes is representative of the cuisine, they are not nearly the entire extent of Szechuan cooking. 

4 June 1895, Wheeling (WV) Register, “Chinese Mobs,” pg. 2:
The province of Szechuan has been termed the “Texas of China.” Ching Too, or Chentu, is the capital city. It is situated in the midst of a fertile plain and is the great center for the whole province, as well as the numerous outlying cities and villages.

Google Books
Motor Roads in Brazil
by Howard H. Tewksbury
1931
Pg. 124:
The Province of Szechwan is the “Texas of China” in size, though its 150,000 square miles represent only about 60 per cent of the area of Texas. The latitude of Szechwan is similar to that of Texas.

Google Books
China Through the American Window
by Julean Herbert Arnold
Shanghai: American Chamber of Commerce
1932
Pg. 33:
Szechwan, the Texas of China, with a population estimated at upwards of fifty millions, has not as yet a mile of railways, except the little narrow gauge ...

Google Books
Asia’s Good Neighbor:
we were once...can we be again?
by Walter Karig
Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs-Merrill Company
1937
Pg. 277:
Yunnan, the Texas of China, was completely in the grip of France.

3 November 1938, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 1, pg. 14:
CHENGTU, China, Nov. 2 (AP).—Szechwan Province—the Texas of China and the most populous province of China proper—has become the new military base for Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek in his fight against Japan.

25 December 1938, Hartford (CT) Courant:
Chiang Conquers the Texas of China
Generalissimo’s Coup d’Etat Climaxes 10 Year’s Struggle in War - Harried Szechuan Province

Google Books
“Humane Endeavour”:
The Story of the China War
by Haldore E. Hanson
New York, NY: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc.
1939
Pg. 317:
Szech’uan is the Texas of China and contains the nation’s largest reserve of man power.

Google Books
Doctor of the Happy Landings
by Julia Lake Skinner and Eugene Kellesberger
Richmond, VA: John Knox Press
1949
Pg. 220:
Szechwan Province has about sixty million people, some fifteen hundred to the square mile, and has been rightly called “The Texas of China,” for it is the richest section of the country. 

Google Books
Truman, Stalin and Peace
by Albert H. Z. Carr
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1950
Pg. 168:
“Manchuria is the 1836 Texas of China,” he assured us. “The Manchurians are not like the rest of the Chinese. They are not tolerant or submissive.”

Google Books
America’s Retreat from Victory:
The Story of George Catlett Marshall
by Joseph McCarthy
New York, NY: Devin-Adair
1951
Pg. 28:
In terms of area and natural resources it may be described as the Texas of China. But Manchuria has not been China’s to enjoy for many years. 

Google Books
Food Technology the World Over
by Martin S. Peterson and Donald K. Tressler
Westport, CT: Avi Publishing Company
1963
Pg. 251:
Inner Mongolia is the most important cattle-raising region and seems to the the “Texas” of China.

Google Books
Adventures of a Home Economist
by Ava Milam Clark and James Kenneth Munford
Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press
1969
Pg. 256:
An ancient little boat took us across to the island early the next morning and we were soon flying over the rich plains of Szechwan, sometimes called the “Texas of China.”

New York Times
Crystalline Ice Fantasies In Frozen Manchuria
By MOANA TREGASKIS; MOANA TREGASKIS IS A WRITER WHO LIVES IN HONOLULU.
Published: December 24, 1989
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The history of Heilungkiang plays a major role in the clamorous events of 20th-century China. In 1896 Russia negotiated a contract to build a railroad to Vladivostok through the province that has developed since into the Texas of China. (The nation’s largest oilfields begin 62 miles northwest of Harbin. In 1914, following an agreement that extended Russian rights along the rail line to Britain as well, several European countries and the United States signed up for equal privileges, sending a swarm of foreign entrepreneurs to Harbin and turning it into an international city. In 1917 White Russian refugees surged into Harbin, which grew into alarge Russian settlement. Then in February 1932 Japanese troops occupied the city, renaming the province Manchukuo.

Google Books
The Language of Conscience:
using enlightened conservatism to build cooperative capital and character
by Tieman H. Dippel, Jr.
Brenham, TX: Texas Peacemaker Publications
2002
Pg. 92:
Shandong is very unique and is the Texas of China in a great many ways. Both states are the second in size in their countries, unique in their character of independence, and premier in agriculture and energy.

Wikipedia: Elizabeth Chong’s Tiny Delights
Elizabeth Chong’s Tiny Delights is a cooking series originally aired in 2003.
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EPISODE NINE: “THE TEXAS OF CHINA” CHENGDU
In the “wild west” of China, Sichuan province, Elizabeth visits the capital Chengdu, home of spicy chilli and fagara pepper dishes. Elizabeth visits the main city markets, where turtles, snails and snakes are on the menu. Up country in a small village she discovers a Muslim boy still making bowls of steaming “hand pulled noodles” from a tiny store front restaurant. Returning to the city Elizabeth visits a quaint chilli duck restaurant where dozens of sucks are cooked at a time in a hug wok! In her own kitchen Elizabeth demonstrates her techniques for cooking SHOULDER-POLE NOODLES and SMOKE RAINBOW TROUT. Finally Elizabeth takes tea by the lake in the Ren Min (People’s) Park after watching a tournament of mah jong. 

Professional Man of Leisure
Monday, November 5, 2007
chendu wrap up
So there was that saying come to chengdu when your young.....

I planned on passing through for 3 days and then ended up staying 2 weeks. Chengdu is like the austin texas of china.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, December 17, 2007 • Permalink