the story of the fortune cookie

So... everybody knows that fortune cookies are not really an authentic part of Chinese cuisine. We know this. You won't really find fortune cookies anywhere in China. The crackly wisdom-filled novelty actually came to prominence in the United States. But here's something to confuse you a little more: did you know that the fortune cookie actually originates from Japan?

Jennifer 8. Lee has done the research and writes about it in the New York Times: Solving a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside a Cookie. The article tracks the fortune cookie's long path to glory as the widespread dessert of choice for Chinese restaurants in America.

This is a few months away, but if you dig the story of the fortune cookie, I highly recommend checking out The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, Jennifer 8. Lee's cross-country road trip exploration of the ubiquity of America's favorite cuisine, Chinese food. I got my hands on an early copy, and it's a really interesting, fun read. It'll be out in stores in March. In the meantime, follow along with her blog here.

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