Certainly! When it comes to Chinese cuisine, one of the most popular dishes in the United States is undoubtedly General Tso’s chicken. This dish consists of crispy fried chicken pieces that are coated in a sweet and savory sauce and garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.
Now, if you were to look at the name of the dish, you might be wondering who exactly General Tso is and what he has to do with Chinese food. General Tso was a real person and a prominent military leader in Chinese history, hailing from the Hunan province of China in the 1800s. However, the connection between him and the dish is a bit more complicated.
In reality, General Tso’s chicken is not a traditional Chinese dish, nor is it something that would have been associated with General Tso during his lifetime. The origins of the dish are a bit murky, but it’s generally believed to have been created in the United States in the 1970s by Chinese immigrants who wanted to appeal to American palates by creating a sweeter and spicier version of Chinese-style fried chicken.
So where does the “TSO” part of the crossword clue come in? Well, in many instances where the dish is spelled out on Chinese restaurant menus or in cookbooks, the name is actually written as “General Tso’s,” with an apostrophe s at the end. But there are also plenty of variations on the spelling, including “General Tao’s,” “General Gao’s,” and yes, “General TSO’s.”
So if you come across this clue in a crossword puzzle, the answer you’re looking for is likely “TSO.” This shorthand capitalizes on the fact that there are multiple ways to spell the dish and refers specifically to the presence of General Tso’s chicken on Chinese restaurant menus in the United States.