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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food


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Manufacturer: Twelve
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Hardcover
Dewey Decimal Number: 641.5951
EAN: 9780446580076
ISBN: 0446580074
Label: Twelve
Manufacturer: Twelve
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 320
Publication Date: 2008-03-03
Publisher: Twelve
Studio: Twelve

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Editorial Reviews:

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.


Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: A book about Chinese food... yummy, pass the soy sauce!
Comment: Do you like to read? Do you like Chinese food? Then how could you not like to read about Chinese food?!

Jennifer 8 Lee's book is a fascinating collection of essays about Chinese food and the Chinese immigrant experience. Some of the chapters (such as the one where she goes to China to try to determine the origin of General Tso's chicken) are laugh out loud funny. Others are not; in fact, my only criticism of this book is that the tone is somewhat disjointed from chapter to chapter. Some of the profiles of Chinese restaurant owners and workers are downright depressing, and tend to (rather jarringly) follow the lighter chapters. I would have preferred different sections to address the various chapter themes - e.g. food history, immigrant history, personal recollections.

That very minor criticism aside, this is an excellent book about something most of us partake a lot of but think little about.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Fascinating Insight
Comment: Overall a good read. Rather than a continuous narrative the book is broken up into sections that are not entirely complementary but which tell a number of stories related to the origins of Chinese food in America. I was amazed by some of what I read; have repeated a number of the anecdotes already, and found it an overall interesting topic. I think few people are aware of how much Chinese food really does permeate our culture --- and few people are also aware of how intricate, centrally-managed, and lucrative the network of Chinese restaurants in America actually is.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Fascinating book
Comment: I found this book really fascinating. I'm really intrigued by food history, and Lee made me think alot about so-called "authentic" food. I recommend this book, and have already to my friends and family.
Joan

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Pass the chopsticks, please
Comment: When you think about it - it is amazing there aren't any national chains with Chinese restaurants in every town. But this book explains why. It's an amazing story of immigration to probably 99% of the cities and towns in America. No matter where Americans travel in the US - we want Chinese food - and we get it!
A very interesting story of cultures and their expectations. It makes me wonder how Amerians in China for the Olympics are eating! Are they eating "Real Chinese food" or what we have come to expect of Chinese food!
Great story, with many interesting things to learn.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Good, could have been a bit better
Comment: As others have said, Ms. Lee writes very well, and most of this was really interesting. But she has a total blind spot about fortune cookies, and for me, there was WAY too much stuff about trying to research exactly who invented them. When I realized that I was starting a THIRD chapter on this same subject -- which she'd already covered exhaustively in two previous chapters -- I groaned inwardly and just skipped to the next chapter. OK, we get it: fortune cookies are not Chinese, any more than General Tso's chicken or chop suey. Except for this one flaw, the book was a lot of fun.


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