The General Theory of Tso’s Chicken

Ok, here I am ranting again about food not allowed by my low carb diet.

General Tso’s chicken. Mmmmm. Deep fried chicken cubes in sweet and spicy sauce. Droool.

Ok, if I can’t have it, I can at least finally find out who is this general and why the dish is named after him. Luckily I am not the first one to ask myself that question. Well, trusty google gave me some answers, but very few things are completely clear.

Is it an ancient Szechuan dish called “ancestor meeting place chicken” or was it “It was invented in the mid-1970s, in NYC, by one Chef Peng”? Probably the second.

General Tso seems to have been a real military general. My theory was that it’s genral in the sense of “concerned with, applicable to, or affecting the whole or every member of a class or category”, as opposed to “special”. Anyways, his specialty (huh, huh I made a pun) was Chinese and Muslim rebellion crushing. But were his “.. operations were carried out while he suffered from recurring bouts of malaria and dysentery”? Has he “… flunked the official court exams three times, a terrible disgrace …” or did he have a ” ..successful career as a scholar-administrator”? Was the chicken named so because “…General Tso […] had the top leaders of the Nian Rebellion executed with the proverbial “death of 10,000 cuts”[…] ” or just in admiration?

And how many puns can be made by people writing articles about the good general and his dish? Try to count in the following articles (which I qoted in my post):
Tso What?
Who Was General Tso And Why Are We Eating His Chicken?