The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

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    Fried Rice Paradise, Coming to a Theatre Near You

    Saturday, August 14th, 2010

    Was in Singapore subway station when saw a poster for “Fried Rice Paradise,” a musical. Really. As the website blurbs itself: Fried Rice Paradise is set invibrant Jalan Calamansi inhabited by colourful characters. There is Bee Lean whose father owns a coffeeshop selling fishball noodles. Together with her friends Girly Danker and Johan, she has […]

    Type “How Long” into Google…It’s Not What You Think

    Monday, October 26th, 2009

    A while ago, Google introduced an auto-suggest function based on what other people commonly searched for. I have found this immensely helpful, and it gives you a peak into what other people are thinking about. (This seems obvious now, but was not so much when I wrote a 2002 article about Google’s logs). It’s particularly […]

    General Tso’s Pizza!

    Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

    This photo came in from Philadelphia (from Michael Schaeffer). It’s Chinese pizza — yes, with mozzarella cheese — with your choice of sauces: General Tso, sesame garlic, hoisin BBQ. Plus there is also “orange ginger sauce hot spicy,” whatever that is. As the menu brags “It’s all in the sauce.” Available at Best House Pizzeria, […]

    The Rubber Bands Are Heading in the Right Direction.

    Sunday, May 24th, 2009

    This is a fortune that was sent to me by a reader: I’m sending you a picture of a fortune I got out of a cookie about five or so years ago. It’s the strangest fortune I’ve ever received and I thought you might like to see it. I’ve kept it pinned on my bulletin […]

    Men at Wok

    Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

    This is another hilarious name for Chinese restaurant, courtesy of Michael Epstein. I still think Wok n Roll is still better, but getting cliched. This one is located in Brooklyn, though apparently there are others: one in Williston, Vermont and one in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

    Elvis Wok, Featuring a Chinese Elvis, the “King of Wok n Roll”

    Saturday, December 27th, 2008

    This was sent to me after my TED talk went up. Amusing.

    Baby meets Mexican Fortune Cookies, Dichos!

    Monday, November 24th, 2008

    My college roommate, Amy, was served the Mexican fortune cookies called dichos, that I’ve written about before. She lives in Phoenix and was served them in Bisbee, just 5 miles from where they are made. Yes, it seems that Bisbee is in the middle of nowhere. And their supercute son, Alex, loved them too. Or […]

    Philly Cheesesteak Roll! Like An Eggroll on the Outside…

    Thursday, November 20th, 2008

    So I decided, when I was in Philadelphia, to stop for my favorite Philly-Chinese snack — the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Roll, which basically looks like an egg roll on the outside….I headed to the Evergreen Chinese Restaurant (4726 Spruce St, Philadelphia), where you can see on their Menupages entry it is listed for $1.25 (quite a […]

    Fortune Cookie Chronicle Takeout Boxes

    Monday, November 10th, 2008

    These were created and executed as the JCC of Greater Washington as part of my talk. I think they were absolutely adorable and I took one as a souvenir.

    Soft Tacos — the Chinese Kind

    Monday, November 3rd, 2008

    I was amused to see these steamed Chinese buns marketed as “soft tacos” in the Hong Kong supermarket in Flushing, New York City. This reminds me of the Taiwanese grandmother who saw tortillas in the supermarket and decided to turn them into scallion pancakes. Or when they look at zongzi (粽子), the bamboo leaf-wrapped sticky […]

    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 […]

    Now Available: Fortune Cookie Cupcakes

    Monday, September 8th, 2008

    Fortune Cookie cupcakes from A Baked Creation. . As they explain: “We made fortune cookies out of gum paste and inserted her unique personal notes. The green icing relates to the company’s famous colour.”

    What is a chop suey sundae?

    Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

    Sent to me by a Proquest executive. Proquest Historical Newspaper Archive is very useful for historical research. I would not have been able to do much on chop suey, Chinese restaurants, fortune cookie and General Tso’s chicken without it. She sent me an ad for a chop suey sundae…which piqued my curiosity

    Maybe General Tso had a Mexican Cousin?

    Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

    Erin passed me a press release that from Chop’t Salad which hailed “the Mott Street Chop with romaine lettuce and spinach, grilled chicken, snow peas, water chestnuts, and savory Chinese noodles drizzled with the recommended General Tso’s Chipotle dressing.” General Tso’s Chipotle dressing?! General Tso, promise you, never saw a stalk of broccoli in his […]

    Fortune Cookies: “except in bed?”

    Monday, May 19th, 2008

    This truly excellent comic from on the “in bed” phenomenon in fortune cookies.

    Fortune cookie fungus

    Sunday, May 11th, 2008

    Was browsing the Internet doing a search for fortune cookie by Super K (Kari-out) and stumbled upon this blog post on Thoughts from Miller Manor about fungus that looks like fortune cookies.  Yummy?

    Why does television always want to film people walking?

    Saturday, April 12th, 2008

    I taped another television segment today, though this one is not intended for an American audience, and strictly speaking, may actually be banned from within our borders. Suffice it to stay, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles may be immortalized as part of U.S. propaganda. Anyway, we did (yet another) shot of me walking. Television people always […]

    Nixon Library vs. the Nixon Foundation, who controls the hallways?

    Monday, March 31st, 2008

      The Nixon Presidential Library (run by the National Archives, note the .gov) and the Nixon Library Foundation (run by his friends and family, note the .org) have this very odd relationship, where they co-exist in the same building but have slightly different goals (truth/history versus honoring the man). The saga of the federal government […]

    Fortune cookies are not a “food’ (according to our federal government

    Monday, March 31st, 2008

    Fortune cookies are not necessarily food, at least, according to the federal government The Nixon Library made these adorable custom-made fortune cookies to promote my talk on Saturday (above). But the library is part of the National Archives which is part of the federal government which is not allowed to give out “food” as presents […]

    Introducing fortune cookies to China

    Thursday, March 6th, 2008

    During my trip to China, I took along boxes of Wonton Food’s fortune cookies and gave them out to Chinese people along the way. This is a compilation of their reactions. (The people here are from Houyu, Kaifeng, Shenzhen and Changsha).

    Airbrushing before a TV appearance

    Thursday, March 6th, 2008

    Make-up artist (holding a menacing metallic device): Have you ever been airbrushed? Me (looking at aforementioned device): Um, not to my knowledge. I thought airbrushing was something they do only after a photo is taken? Apparently not.

    A meta-fortune cookie fortune

    Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

    Barbara Brown sent this photo to me and a message: “Heard your intrview on NPR yesterday and wanted to share my favorite fortune ever. After a birthday dinner one year I opened my fortune cookie and read, ‘Ignore previous fortunes.’ I’ve never met anyone else who has gotten that fortune, nor do I want to. […]

    Hong Fu, you have to wonder if this was meant with irony

    Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

    Driving along in Cupertino. Again, had to stop and take a picture

    A Persian-Italian-American restaurant?

    Monday, February 18th, 2008

    I saw this while driving around Cupertino with my friend Janet, and was so amused that I made her stop the car so I could take a picture. So the restaurant is called Arya. I checked out their menu and was disappointed that they didn’t actually blend the cuisines, rather it offers dishes from all […]

    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.”

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