The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

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  • Fortune Cookies

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    Video: Watch fortune cookies being handmade in Japan

    Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

    Here, on the New York Times site, is the  video of fortune cookies being made in Japan that went with my article. I’m not sure why they only put some videos on YouTube (about 150 at last count). Sadly, they don’t give you the ability to embed it either in the blog.

    Maybe cupid likes Chinese food too?

    Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

    Pink Valentine fortune cookies, now on sale for $4.97 for 50 instead of $7.95. Bargain! Perhaps you can also put them in Valentine’s takeout glitter boxes (also in pink and red), now slashed to $1.97 for a dozen.

    Even Hallmark is getting naughty with its fortune cookies

    Friday, January 25th, 2008

    Timothy Layman sent this Hallmark Card link to me. For $4.99 you can get it personalized and mailed for you (no need to lick your own stamp!) Outside: “You will have much success and happiness.” Inside: “In bed. Happy Valentines Day.”

    The long march of the fortune tea cake?

    Monday, January 21st, 2008

    Barry Popik, a compiler of etymological origins and contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary, has a nice compilation of early citations in newspapers for “fortune tea cakes,” “Chinese fortune cakes,” “fortune cakes” (some of the last one I dispute refer to the modern day fortune cookies because they seem more related to the French galette […]

    The cover design for fortune cookies.

    Thursday, January 17th, 2008

    I woke up the morning my fortune cookie story ran with emails from friends that were like “awesome layout” and “great design.” As I had waited until late for the story to go online and read it only online, I had no idea what they were talking about. I actually didn’t see the paper until […]

    Fortune Cookies are really from Japan.

    Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

    So today I have a story in The New York Times that points, persuasively, that fortune cookies originate not from China, but from Japan. There is neat slideshow by Sylvia Rupani-Smith and video by Sean Patrick Farrell. This was probably the most surprising outcome from the research of my book, and it is one of […]

    How did Japanese fortune cookies end up in Chinese restaurants?

    Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

    So how did Japanese fortune cookies end up in Chinese restaurants? That’s a bit of a mystery. This is what we do know, based on interviews with fortune cookie makers and articles written around the time. Turns out it’s relatively easy to trace the path of fortune cookies back to World War II, when they […]

    What do you do with the fortunes you want to keep?

    Sunday, January 13th, 2008

    So the biggest dilemma at the end of a Chinese meal: What do you do with a fortune cookie fortune you want to keep? Do you put it in your wallet? Do you tape it to your computer monitor or fridge? Do you collect them for a scrapbook project? Do yu stuff it in your […]

    Holiday presents: fancy fortune cookies made in Willie Wonka-land

    Thursday, December 20th, 2007

    So for my professional holiday presents (I don’t do personal presents generally, long Chinese story) I couldn’t resist ordering from Good Fortunes, which offers delicious special (and pricey) fortune cookies for all kinds of special occasions: Valentine’s Day, Hannukkah, Weddings, Mother’s Day, etc. Anyway, here are the ones I gave out today. Above s their […]

    Fortune Cookie Christmas Ornaments! (And a Partridge in a Pear Tree)

    Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

    From Etsy (venue to buy and sell all things homemade), we get porcelain fortune cookies, a set of six ornaments for $30 or a set of 12 non-ornaments for $38, by Yogagoat, aka as Amanda Ryznar. As Yogagoat describes them: Six of my porcelain fortune cookies, wired for hanging on your holiday tree. The wires […]

    Fortune Cookie Magic Eight Ball

    Monday, December 17th, 2007

    My friend David gave me a magic fortune cookie eight ball last year, available for $9.99. Some of its answers Future sticky like rice, You don’t wonton know Answer sweet and sour Don’t mock the cookie Try the eggroll Cookie busy – try later

    Fortune Cookie USB Drives from Valavo can save your memories (in bed)

    Friday, December 7th, 2007

    I really feel like the photo says it all . But go to Valavo‘s site for more info (comes in grden, red, and blue)

    Fortune cookies (and me) on CBS News Sunday Morning

    Friday, November 16th, 2007

    I am scheduled to be on CBS News Sunday Morning for their food episode as a fortune cookie expert. (Not directly related to the book, but how many English-speaking fortune cookie experts are there in the world). We shot at Shun Lee a few days ago, with a plate of fortune cookies delectably placed on […]

    Confucius say, You will vote for Obama?

    Sunday, November 11th, 2007

    Reporters at the Jefferson Jackson dinner in Iowa were scarfing done fortune cookies provided by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign as they were the only things they had to eat. Per Garance’s France-Ruta‘s observations: The Obama campaign’s Iowa spokesman Tommy Vietor walked by the press riser, at one point, tossing fortune cookies to reporters and cameramen, […]

    An elevator button with the perfect fortune cookie message

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

    This is in every elevator in the NYTimes building, pointed out to me by the mysterious artist, who created a digital tribute and then made me guess where it was from… If only this were true in real life…

    A prescient fortune cookie for the mysterious artist in the NYTimes lobby

    Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

    Almost every day for the last few months (even on weekends), you could see a man wearing a T-shirt hunched over his Apple Powerbook in the lobby of new The New York Times building. He would be furiously tapping away while little green lights would pulsate across the longs chains of screens dangling in formation […]

    Is this where fortune cookies go to die?

    Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

    Hal Bergman, a local Los Angeles photographer, stumbled upon three dumpsters full of fortune cookies. LAist has an interview with him. Here is the entire photoset on Flickr. I was looking at the cookies. The two largest manufacturers of fortune cookies in LA are Peking Noodle and Umeya. These don’t look at either.

    Some fortune cookies contain no fortunes?

    Thursday, August 9th, 2007

    I’m trying to decide if this fortune is incredibly zen or totally inane.

    Do dogs add “in bed” after their fortunes too?

    Monday, June 25th, 2007

    Michael Schaffer, who is writing a book on pet culture called One National Under Dog, sent me an e-mail message with the subject line “Our books meet” and a url. I clicked and laughed when I saw it. This company, K9takeout, now sells fortune cookies for dogs. The types of fortunes they offer include “Confucius […]

    My book cover: Orange is the New Orange

    Thursday, June 14th, 2007

    So here it is: my orange orange cover. It’s what I call Gates-of-Central-Park orange, which is admittedly eye-catching and “in” right now. A lot of people have complained about the “cognitive dissonance” of “fortune cookie” on a soy sauce packet (which isn’t cognitive dissonance at all per psychology definitions, but rather “incongruity”). There are no […]

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