Chun King

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Chun King

Chun King was one of the earliest brands of mass-marketed Chinese food in the United States, offering convenient "exotic" dinners in a can. Beginning with chicken chow mein in 1947, Chun King later expanded its menu to include eggrolls and chop suey. Although chow mein was Chinese-American, the maker of Chun King foods was not. The founder and president of Chun King was Jeno F. Paulucci, the son of Italian immigrants. Paulucci began his career in the food industry working in a grocery, and later sold fruits and vegetables from a car. Paulucci saw an opportunity in Chinese food and began canning and selling chow mein. The business grew into a multi-million dollar industry, and in the late 1960s Paulucci sold the company for $63 million. In the 1990s ConAgra and Hunt-Wesson marketed Chun King chow mein, beansprouts, eggrolls, and sauces.

—Midori Takagi

Further Reading:

Cao, Lan, and Himilce Novas. Everything You Need to Know About Asian-American History. New York, Penguin, 1996.