Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles


My review of the Jennifer 8. Lee's delightful book by that title -- I'm giving something away here, perhaps -- will be published in The Internet Review of Books April issue.

I've read Lee's reporting in the New York Times, and so I knew she had the right kind of journalism chops to cover the story of Chinese food in America and around the world. Imagine my surprise then when I learned -- in spite of four years on the trail of all that is edible and Chinese -- she had missed David Leong's invention of "cashew chicken, Springfield style."

I was intrigued enough that I searched out the website promoting her book -- The Fortune Cookie Chronicles -- and sent her note through the contact form. Her quick reply was "Wow! I did not know ... "

Springfield, Missouri locals have relayed stories of finding it on Chinese restaurant menus under that title on both coasts. Lee confirmed that, while noting she'd never heard the story behind the recipe.


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