Where is the cashew chicken capital of the world? According to a 2009 New York Times article detailing the history and popularity of cashew chicken, it’s Springfield in Greene County Missouri, home of a large number of local variations of the popular Chinese dish.
Greene County is a county located in Southwest Missouri the county has a total area of 677.80 square miles. As of 2010, the population was 275,174 making it the fourth most populated county in Missouri. Its county seat is Springfield.
Known as the “Queen City of the Ozarks,” Springfield has seen the resurgence in its downtown area that so many urban areas are enjoying across the country. Located within the downtown area of Greene County’s capital, the historic district features many buildings that have been restored to their original state, including the Gillioz Theatre and the Landers Theatre.
Greene County offers a rich cultural area, as well. The Creamery Arts Center, a city-owned building inside Jordan Valley Park, is home to the Springfield Regional Arts Council, Springfield Regional Opera, Springfield Ballet, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Popular annual events include the Missouri Literary Festival.
During the 1950s, four nationally-broadcast television shows originated from Greene County’s capital including Ozark Jubilee, the first national country music TV show to feature top stars and attract a significant number of viewers.
Greene County was organized in 1833 and named after American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene. There is a great deal of history in this county; Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield near Republic, Missouri preserves the site of the first major American Civil War engagement west of the Mississippi River. A loss by the Confederacy here resulted in keeping Missouri in the Union.
Parks include Lake Springfield Park Boathouse and Marina, a 153-acre property with more than one mile of shoreline and five miles of water trails. Nathanael Greene Memorial Park is home to the new Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center. Lake Drummond sits on the south of the property with a link into the Ozark greenway’s South Creek Greenway. The park also features the Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House, The Gray-Campbell Farmstead (the oldest house in Springfield) and the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden.