Sweet and Sour
Telling the story of Chinese food in america sends Jennifer 8. Lee around the globe.
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles:
Adventures in the World of Chinese Food
by Jennifer 8 Lee
$24.99 List Price
Confession: When I got a galley of Jennifer 8. Lee’s new book about the history of Chinese food in America, I immediately flipped to the back, hoping to find my name in the index. And by “my name,” I mean, of course, the name of “my” Chinese restaurant in upper Manhattan, the one where my parents often took my sister and me on Sunday nights for dinner when we were young. Like Lee, I grew up in New York, and without really meaning to, I’d devised a test of her authority the instant The Fortune Cookie Chronicles (Twelve, $25) hit my doorstep: If she didn’t know about Hunan Balcony (on Broadway between Ninety-seventh and Ninety-eighth streets—if reading this review makes you as hungry as reading Lee’s book made me, and you happen to be in the neighborhood), I was prepared to brand her a neophyte. Such is the
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