Culture Shock: Fortune Cookies

Culture shock can come in various forms and degrees.  Here Sherry feels cheated by the lack of authenticity in all things – the fortune cookie.

[singlepic=951,150,,,right]When you go out for Chinese food in the US (and I’m willing to bet, most of North America), what is the one thing that you are always guaranteed at the end of the dinner – fortune cookies. It’s a symbol of Chinese cuisine – not to mention the source of a lot of fun. However, to my astonishment I’ve been in China now for 3 weeks and I have not been served one fortune cookie. Not only do restaurants not serve them, but the Chinese people I’ve talked to have no idea what they even are! They look at me as if I have lost my mind…why on earth would anyone put paper in a cookie and bake it?

I try to explain to them that I’m not crazy and that in San Francisco they even have a factory in China Town where they manufacture fortune cookies…still a blank stare is all I get. We’ve all been duped, punk’d, cheated, lied to!!!! I can’t believe that Americans have been led to believe that fortune cookies are Chinese food, when no one in China knows what they even are! It would be akin to coming to China and seeing everyone eat with forks and spoons – as if chopsticks never existed. Rest easy…we have not been fed lies about chopsticks – they are alive and well in China – and all over Asia. I’ve even become quite adept at using them too, just the other day I learned how to twist noodles with chopsticks! But there has not been one fortune cookie sighting much to my disappointment.

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