Chinese people react to Fortune Cookies.

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?

9 thoughts on “Chinese people react to Fortune Cookies.

  1. I prefer to prefix things with the word anal – but that doesn’t work well at all with fortune cookies.

    Anal help I’m trapped in a fortune cookie factory

    See?

  2. Reminds me of the day we took the boss for lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  I had previously gotten some “racy” fortune cookies at a gag shop and spiked the ones brought by the waiter.

    Took a few tries, but he got it!

    SG

  3. I blame the confusion over fortune cookies emanating from all the clueless American bastards who still can’t tell the difference between Japanese and Chinese… and then all the Koreans (etc…) who try to cash in on either cultures foods in this country.

    I mean.. I hope you all realize that when you’re going to a Japanese or Chinese restaurant that you’re usually not dealing with real Japanese or Chinese restaurant owners/cooks.

  4. Are you trying to tell me that dog I just ate in a Korean restaurant was really a donkey? How disgusting! When I want a piece of ass, I’ll go the the red light district, thank you.  snake

  5. DH, I suppose it depends on where you’re at, but around here most of the Japanese/Chinese restaurants are owned and run by actual Japanese/Chinese people.

    That said, the food served may not be authentic Japanese/Chinese, but the Americanized versions thereof. They’re not stupid. Give the customers what they expect and you’ll thrive. In a few places you get lucky, though, and find that they also have real Japanese/Chinese food available.

    There’s at least one very authentic Chinese restaurant that I know of in West Bloomfield, Michigan called Shangri-La. I went there once with two Chinese coworkers as a going away party as I was leaving the company at the time. They treated me to an authentic Dim Sum lunch and I couldn’t begin to tell you all that I had, but it was all wonderful. Had to ask for a fork, though, as I wasn’t very good with the chopsticks. If you’re ever in South East Michigan I highly recomment it.

  6. You can always add the words ‘In Bed’ to the titles of Hymns…

    See, going to church does have value.

  7. Growing up in California, I was spoiled by the many authentic Chinese and Japanese restaurants.  What a disappointment coming to Vienna, and finding no Japanese restaurants, and Chinese restaurants serving pretty much what you would get in Boondocks, America.

    Luckily, things have improved.  There are a few Japanese restaurants now (although they are not as good as in California- seafood is not as fresh, and the cooks are mostly Chinese), and a couple of really good Chinese restaurants.  To find them, though, you need to know where the Chinese eat.

  8. To find them, though, you need to know where the Chinese eat.

    That’s true for all the ethnic and regional cuisines. If you want authentic, go where the natives eat.

    I fondly remember an Argentinian steak house in Berlin, just off the tourist traps on Ku’damm and a Japanese ramen shop tucked away in the middle of London’s financial district.

  9. Zilch,
    California still has an awesome assortment of authentic restaurants available. They recently have added some Brasilian Churascaria (BBQ) ones that are fantastico! Look for Greenfields in Long Beach.

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