When Richard Nixon first visited China, among the many things he experienced was authentic Chinese cuisine. Nixon loved the food, and every time he especially liked a dish, he asked Chairman Mao what sort of food it was. Mao, a local patriot from Hunan province, would unfailingly say that every one of Nixon’s favorites was Hunan cuisine. Upon his return, President Nixon raved about the excellency of Hunan cuisine, prompting many American Chinese restaurants to begin boasting about their own Hunan cuisine, whether or not they actually had any. And this is why so many Chinese restaurants in America “specialize” in Hunan cuisine.