The Fortune Cookie Chronicles


  • #26 on the New York Times Best Seller List
    and featured on The Colbert Report, Martha Stewart, TED.com, CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose Tomorrow, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and NPR stations coast to coast. Also selected for Borders Original Voices and Book Sense. Follow me on Twitter! Fan me on Facebook.

  • Archive for October, 2008

    Hipster Jews and Chinese Food, Nov. 16

    Friday, October 31st, 2008

    Partnering with the SoHo Synagogue for a mouth watering Chinese Dinner Party at at beautiful downtown loft. (Love the musical effects on that page. These guys know presentation and events!)
    MENU: Upon arriving you will find mini designer Chinese take-out containers stuffed with either Spicy Sesame Noodles or Chow-Mein Chicken Salad with Orange Segments and Almonds. [...]

    Fortune Cookie Pendants, Some for $1,100.

    Friday, October 31st, 2008

    My friend’s mom bought me this fortune cookie pendant as a present, adding to my collection of fortune cookie trinkets. It even has a tiny fortune inside.
    I’ve been surprised at the use of fortune cookies in jewelry. Out of curiosity, I Googled “fortune cookie pendant” and was surprised to find that you can find one [...]

    My Worlds Converge: Fortune Cookies meets City Room

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

    This piece by Willie Neuman talks about fortune cookies (protesting the M.T.A.) on City Room. Some of the sayings (none by Confucius, as much as we can see)

    “If you cut transit service, this cookie will give you heartburn.”
    “Raising transit fares will wreak havoc on your love life.”
    “In a tough economy, it is wise to [...]

    A Glimpse of My First Paperback

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

    I went to a talk out in Long Island last week at the Chinese Cultural Association of Long Island and was startled that someone asked me sign a paperback. I looked closely, because I thought it was a copy of my galley. Then I realized it must be the QPB paperback edition. It had a [...]

    Indy Star, Highlighting the Web Site

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

    From the Indy Star this week:
    Follow author Jennifer 8. Lee on a culinary journey into Chinese-American cuisine in her new book, “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” (Twelve Books, $25). Lee, whose middle name “8″ connotes prosperity in Chinese, is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and grew up in New York eating her mother’s authentic Chinese food. [...]

    Modern Jewish Life: The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

    Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

    Modern Jewish Life
    I was very amused by this exhibit at the Denver Jewish Community Center, where I went to speak today.
    Also Iesson. Not all the LIRR trains stop at Jamaica during rush hour. I learned this as I ended up in Bethpage in Long Island — 40 minutes out. I totally missed my flight to [...]

    I’m sick in bed so I spent the night compiling all the media stuff

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    I’ve spent the last few weeks suffering from bronchiospasms (a.k.a. coughing fits). So I’m forced to stay in bed to rest. As a result, I thought I would take the opportunity to put together a page of all the media stuff on The Fortune Cookie Chronicles online. And it’s not until you see it all [...]

    Columbus Ledger-Enquirer: It’s Our Kind of Chinese

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    From the Columbus Paper! (No, not Ohio, in Georgia). It’s more a summary, but I like the fact she quotes on my obsession point at the end. I’d thought no one has ever noticed.
    Columbus (Georgia) Ledger-Enquirer
    April 3, 2008
    It’s Our Kind of Chinese
    By Sonya Sorich
    Nearly everybody has one. Maybe yours is marked by a double-digit menu [...]

    Washington Times: “With wit and style, she delights with tales about Chinese food in America, and its sometimes hilarious origins.”

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    This is from August 31, 2008. It’s a very nice review. One of the kindest in how stylishly it’s written.
    Washington Times
    Sunday, August 31, 2008
    Chinese food in America
    By Corinna Lothar
    Jennifer 8. Lee (8 really is her middle name; when pronounced in Chinese the number denotes prosperity) is a special kind of journalist. She writes with a [...]

    The Times of Trenton: Readers are likely to increase their tips after reading about the plight of Chinese restaurant workers

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    This is the same as my Newsday review. But wanted to put it down, again.
    The Times of Trenton
    March 23, 2008
    Chinese food book has right ingredients
    By HELEN McALPIN
    Years ago, at a Japanese Benihana steakhouse, my mother-in-law mortified her children by asking for fortune cookies at the end of the meal. As Jennifer 8. Lee reveals in [...]

    School Library Journal Reviews: For those who liked Freakonomics and The World is Flat

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    Just discovered this too. I was reviewed by School Libarary Journal as an adult book for high school students. I should really look through Nexis more often. I like this: “This title will appeal to teens who are interested in history, Chinese culture, and, of course, cuisine.” I liked this line too: “Recommend it to [...]

    Toronto Star Review, with Jen Lin Liu and Fuschia Dunlop

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    Only in looking through Nexis, did I discover this Toronto Star review from July, subtitled “A female trio of Chinese food lovers – two in China itself and one in New York – explore the eats and the culture.”
    It reviews my book, Fuschia Dunlop’s “Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Memoir of Eating in China”, [...]

    Colorado Public Radio KCFR Colorado Matters, Denver anti-Chinese Race Riots 1880

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    And here is my Colorado Matters Interview with KCFR Colorado Public Radion from May 8, 2008. Denver is interesting because it was home to one of the most vicious race riots against the Chinese in 1880.
    The picture below is drawn from those riots.

    Philadelphia WHYY Chef’s Table Interview from April

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    And I should put up the Chef’s Table interview from April 19, 2008 [here's the audio file]. I actually did the interview when Barack Obama was giving his famous race speech across the street at Constitution Hall. Lots of police.
    Here is the description of the episode.

    Food is all encompassing…how we buy it, store it, celebrate [...]

    Boston’s WBUR Here and Now, trip to Zoe’s in Somerville

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    I just realized I never posted my interview with WBUR’s, Here and Now, from August 4, 2008 (loved listening to the show when I was in college). I actually did the interview with Emiko Tamagawa in March at Zoe’s Chinese restaurant in Somerville, where the Chinese people go to eat. But it ran a few [...]

    Me, Oliver Stone and Richard Branson & Stephen Colbert

    Sunday, October 26th, 2008

    I learned that Oliver Stone was advised to watch my Colbert interview for his appearance on October 9 for his film, W, as a coaching example. He was also advised to watch, in contrast, Richard Branson.
    oliver stone, richard branson, Stephen Colbert

    Some people have 8ness thrust upon them.

    Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

    I just saw this, and was amused. I am honored to be the subject of an ode.
    Ode to Jennifer 8. Lee
    Be not afraid of eightness: some are born eight, some achieve eightness, and some have eightness thrust upon them.

    Feds Bust Gangsters Who Were Shaking Down Chinatown Bus Companies

    Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

    The New York Post, in its bouncy law enforcement prose, reports that the feds have busted a Chinese gang which had been beating Chinatown bus operators. The article says that beginning in 2005, the so-called “Banya Organization” - named after its members’ hometown in China’s “Fuchow region” (which is“Fuzhou” in pin yin) allegedly began targeting [...]

    Voila! The Chow Mein Sandwich.

    Monday, October 20th, 2008

    People have asked me on my book tour what is the strangest Chinese-American food I’ve encountered. While Szechuan alligator is up there (Cajun Chinese food!), I have to say that I would have to say it’s the chow mein sandwich, which is a speciality in southeastern New England. Here is a thoughtful article from Flavor [...]

    General Tso’s Inn: He’s Moved Into Real Estate

    Thursday, October 16th, 2008

    General Tso’s Inn.
    This was originally uploaded by HolmesBartonHolmes. I was surfing along on Flickr looking at General Tso photos, and was amused to discover General Tso’s Inn.  He’s moved into real estate investments apparently. This is located in Southeastern Indiapolis. (GENERAL TSO’S INN. 642 TWIN AIRE DR. 317-917-1546)

    Me & My Egg Roll

    Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

    I saw this while walking around in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and thought it was the most adorable name for a Chinese restaurant.

    Fortune Cookie Chronicles-inspired art

    Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

    Google alerts let me know that we inspired a little piece in the sketch blog of Cleveland artist.

    Print Magazine: The History of a “Racist Font”

    Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

    Print magazine had an article by Paul Shaw on ethnic fonts (It ran in August but  I’m just getting to it now), which highlights the history of the ching-chongy chop suey fonts — which had become synonymous with Chinese restaurants during the first half of the 20th century. This is of particular issue to me, [...]

    Who was the mysterious fortune cookie king?

    Monday, October 13th, 2008

    Got an email from a reader. Does anyone know who this mogul could have been?
    In the late 1980s and early 90s I worked for a small arts publisher then located on the north side of Spring Street between Crosby and Lafayette in Soho. On the floor below us there was a small, ancient, one-man printing [...]

    Another talk, in Walnut Creek, Nov. 2 @ 5 p.m.

    Thursday, October 9th, 2008

    Just got another booking for a talk, sandwiched between another event in Solano County earlier that day and a red-eyeflight later that night. (Northern California loves this book). Here are the details:
    TIN’S TEA HOUSE LOUNGE
    1829 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek
    5:00 pm Sunday, November 2, 2008