Unfortunately for China

January 17, 2008

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Fortune cookies.  Some love them, some hate them.  But I think most of us are curious about what they are going to say.  I never let anyone crack open mine, but you couldn’t pay me to eat on.  However Christina will devour everyone on the table.  But according to an article in the New York Times, what we know about the cookies might be changing.

Some 3 billion fortune cookies are made each year, almost all in the United States. But the crisp cookies wrapped around enigmatic sayings have spread around the world. They are served in Chinese restaurants in Britain, Mexico, Italy, France and elsewhere. In India, they taste more like butter cookies. A surprisingly high number of winning tickets in Brazil’s national lottery in 2004 were traced to lucky numbers from fortune cookies distributed by a Chinese restaurant chain called Chinatown.

But there is one place where fortune cookies are conspicuously absent: China.

Now a researcher in Japan believes she can explain the disconnect, which has long perplexed American tourists in China. Fortune cookies, Yasuko Nakamachi says, are almost certainly originally from Japan.

The article goes on to trace why Nakamachi believes the cookies are of Japanese origin and the evidence she has found to support the theory.

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