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Taiwan Chef Peng Chang-kuei Credited With Inventing General Tso’s Chicken, a world-famous Chinese dish, dies at 98

The story of the delicacy is told in a 2014 documentary called "The Search for General Tso," which traces the roots of Chinese food in America through the iconic dish

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The chef credited with inventing General Tso’s Chicken, a world-famous Chinese dish smothered in a sweet sauce that was never a staple in China, has died in Taiwan at 98.

Peng Chang-kuei died of pneumonia last Wednesday in Taipei, his son Chuck Peng, told The Associated Press. He was still cooking in the family’s Taipei restaurant kitchen just a few months ago.

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Peng first brought the sticky, sweet and spicy dish to New York about 40 years ago.

It’s now on Chinese restaurant menus across the United States, exploding in popularity after President Nixon visited China in 1972. The dish also reportedly became a favorite of famed statesman Henry Kissinger, who with Nixon helped open the communist country to the West, spotlighting its culture and food.

But General Tso’s chicken was never part of the Chinese culinary tradition.

The chef created the dish in the 1950s in Taiwan, where he fled in 1949 with Chiang Kai-shek after the communists took over, said Chuck Peng, speaking from his home in Taipei.

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In Taiwan, the chef helped welcome the commander of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet in the Pacific with a banquet that included the new culinary creation named after a 19th-century Chinese military leader from Peng’s native Hunan Province.

By the 1970s, he was in New York running a restaurant named after himself near the United Nations on Manhattan’s East Side. Kissinger was a frequent guest, said Chuck Peng.

“General Tso’s Chicken is so famous because of Henry Kissinger, because he was among the first to eat it, and he liked it, so others followed,” Peng said.

Americans quickly took to the deep-fried chunks of floured chicken, smothered in sweetness that usually includes soy sauce, sugar, ginger and other spices.

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The story of the delicacy is told in a 2014 documentary called “The Search for General Tso,” which traces the roots of Chinese food in America through the iconic dish.

Chuck Peng now runs the family’s chain of 10 restaurants in Taiwan, all called Peng’s.

Until he was hospitalized a few months ago, his son said Peng was a daily presence at their flagship Taipei restaurant which opened after the chef left New York in 1983. The restaurant space on East 44th Street was later occupied by a steakhouse that also is gone.

“My father thought other people’s cooking was no good,” his son said, chuckling. “The way he cooked was different, it was much better.”

While he was “very good to other people, he was very hard on his family” — seven children from three mothers. ‘He was very demanding, he didn’t want us to make any mistakes.”

Some of Peng’s hundreds of students plan to attend his funeral on Dec. 15 in Taipei. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday to discuss their concerns, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?