The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food

Front Cover
Grand Central Publishing, Mar 3, 2008 - Social Science - 320 pages
If you think McDonald's is the most ubiquitous restaurant experience in America, consider that there are more Chinese restaurants in America than McDonalds, Burger Kings, and Wendys combined. New York Times reporter and Chinese-American (or American-born Chinese). In her search, Jennifer 8 Lee traces the history of Chinese-American experience through the lens of the food. In a compelling blend of sociology and history, Jenny Lee exposes the indentured servitude Chinese restaurants expect from illegal immigrant chefs, investigates the relationship between Jews and Chinese food, and weaves a personal narrative about her own relationship with Chinese food.

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles speaks to the immigrant experience as a whole, and the way it has shaped our country.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - glade1 - LibraryThing

This book is entertaining and educational! One point the author makes is that Chinese food is the epitome of Americanness: "One benchmark for Americanness is apple pie. But ask yourself: How often do ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

Mostly light, with some intense and some poignant bits. Many of the chapters are more like articles that could almost stand alone, but it is best read front to back, all of it. If you're interested ... Read full review


AmericanBorn Chinese
The Menu Wars
A Cookie Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma
The Biggest Culinary Joke Played by One Culture on Another
The Long March of General
The Bean Sprout People Are in the Same Boat We
Why Chow Mein Is the Chosen Food of the Chosen Peopleor The Kosher Duck Scandal of 1989
The Soy Sauce Trade Dispute
Waizhou U S
The Greatest Chinese Restaurant in the World
American Stirfry
Tsujiura Senbei
OpenSource Chinese Restaurants
So What Did Confucius Really Say?

Restaurant Workers to
Takeout Takeaways
The Oldest Surviving Fortune Cookies in the World?
The Mystery of the Missing Chinese Deliveryman

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Jennifer 8 Lee, the daughter of Chinese immigrants and a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese herself, grew up eating her mother's authentic Chinese food in her family's New York City kitchen before graduating from Harvard in 1999 with a degree in Applied Mathematics and economics and studying at Beijing University. At the age of 24, she was hired by the New York Times, where she is a metro repoter and has written a variety of stories on culture, poverty, and technology.

Bibliographic information