'The Fortune Cookie Chronicles' on Serious Eats

In Videos: Fortune Cookies Not Found in China?

This is not an act. Random people in China did not know about the fortune cookie's existence. While researching for her book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, Jennifer 8. Lee educated them that yes, there is paper inside, but you should just eat the cookie part. She had to bring the treats over from Wonton Food, a distributor in the U.S., because the cookies are not readily available in China. Overall, the newly-educated citizens seem pretty pleased.... More

In Videos: Jennifer 8. Lee on 'Charlie Rose'

"Fortune cookies were invented by the Japanese, popularized by the Chinese, but ultimately they're consumed by Americans." Jennifer 8. Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, talks about the prevalence of Chinese food around the world and its major role in American culture on Charlie Rose. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'The Fortune Cookie Chronicles'

Occasionally on weekends, we give away a food-related book. This week, we've got a few copies of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles to give away. The Fortune Cookie Chronicles is New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee's obsessive look into all things having to do with Chinese food—from packaging to labor to human trafficking to, of course, the origin of the wise little cookie that comes at the end of a meal at most Chinese restaurants in the U.S. It's an entertaining read, full of great tidbits that will stick with you and bubble to the top of your brain each time you feast on Chinese food. (For a more in-depth take on it, you can check out what I wrote... More

'The Fortune Cookie Chronicles'

I never gave much thought to Chinese food before moving away from the Midwest. Hot and sour soup, chop suey, sweet, sweet General Tso's chicken—all followed by a fortune cookie—well, isn't that just what folks ate in China? After landing on the East Coast, I was shocked to discover my beloved crab rangoon missing from the menus of Chinese restaurants here. "You do know those aren't authentically Chinese, don't you?" my girlfriend said after I had complained about the subject once too often. "Come on: cream cheese? Deep-fried in wonton skins? That's clearly American Chinese food." After the scales had fallen from my eyes, I wondered what else on the menus of typical U.S. Chinese restaurants was invented for American... More

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