BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8. Lee [in Christian Science Monitor]

Fortune Cookie ChroniclesLuddite me made a surprisingly funny joke to two techies after reading Jennifer 8. Lee‘s delightful The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food. “McDonald’s is to Microsoft as Chinese restaurants are to Linux,” I chirped confidently. My friends at first couldn’t believe what had just come out of my mouth – technology and I do not get along – and then they couldn’t stop laughing.

For those of you still scratching your head, here’s Lee’s more thorough explanation: “If McDonald’s is the Windows of the dining world (where one company controls the standards), then Chinese restaurants are akin to the Linux operating system, where a decentralized network of programmers contributes to the underlying source code. The code is available for anyone to use, modify, or redistribute freely.”

Indeed, in Chinese restaurants across the United States and beyond, regardless of size, location, or ownership, you can count on recognizing the same reliable fare: fried rice, chow mein, General Tso’s chicken, and, of course, a fortune cookie at meal’s end.

Is this why there are more Chinese restaurants in the U.S. than all the McDonald’s, Burger Kings, and Kentucky Fried Chickens combined? Is there a real-life General Tso and why did his chicken cross the ocean? And just where did that crispy little cookie really come from? …[click here for more]

Review: Christian Science Monitor, March 18, 2008

Tidbit: How flattering: Lee includes this review on the reviews page of her author website!

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2008



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