Those fortune cookies you get from the local Chinese take-out? Yeah, they’re not really a Chinese invention. So what happens when you give some to real honest-to-goodness Chinese people? The folks at the NYT food blog find out:
Are fortune cookies Chinese?
Clearly not. They are arguably more American (by way of Japan), judging by the way that people in China react to fortune cookies — with a mixture of confusion and amusement. As part of research for my book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, I went around China handing out fortune cookies to random people (my bellhop, people on the street, vendors) and recorded their reactions.
Often times, they would put the cookies in their mouth, and then be surprised when they found a piece of paper either in their mouth or in a cookie.
Best line from the short article: “Americans are so strange, why are they putting pieces of paper in their cookies?”
If we didn’t then what would we add the words “in bed” to the end of so we can laugh ourselves silly?