The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee

On March 30, 2005, 110 people across the country matched five of the six numbers in the Powerball lottery.  Of those 110, 104 had chosen the same wrong sixth number.  Investigators feared massive fraud.

It turned out to be a number from a fortune cookie.

The author started following the trail of these cookies.  She visited restaurants where they were sold around the United States.  This started a bigger investigation into what Chinese food means to Americans and to the Chinese immigrants that work in the restaurants.

Here are the stories of immigration to work in the restaurants and families whose lives are controlled by the needs of restaurants.  Learn how Chinese food became such a common sight in U.S. towns.  Where are the best Chinese restaurants in the world?  What do people living in China think of U.S. Chinese food?  Just how dangerous is it to be a Chinese food delivery man?

The book can be a little scattered with so many topics trying to be covered but it opened my eyes to many of the practices going on.  It also made me hungry for Chinese food since I don’t have it often with the husband’s food allergies.  The lady at the restaurant had my order memorized on my second visit. “You!  For here! Lo mein – no broccoli.”  Yes, ma’am.

I also made fried rice with no sesame oil for dinner so the husband did not feel Chinese food deprived.


Foodies Read 2015


  • Shan @ shannyreads

    Will have to check out this book, very unique! Interestingly enough, fortune cookies aren’t a big thing in China at all. They are actually a very westernised delicacy, and made popular by America! They even say that the recipe originated from Japan, and they aren’t really popular there either! Nevertheless I still love a fortune fresh from a cracked cookie (:

  • Vicki

    My family loves going to our local Chinese Restaurant, so this book would be perfect for me!

    Thanks for linking your review to the Foodies Read Challenge!

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