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Gary Soup

Fortune Cookies, Snapple, and Stereotypy

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I got this by email from concept artist Indigo Som (one of her projects involves a collection of Chinese Restaurant Takeout Menus).

"3) Even fortune cookies are not safe from insidious corporate

advertising. Snapple ads are appearing in fortune cookies that are

distributed "free" to Chinese restaurants. As if that's not bad

enough, at least one of the fortunes regurgitates an offensive old

stereotype; my fortune last night read, "Snapple predicts: You will

be hungry again in an hour." Give them a piece of your mind at:"

SNAPPLE TEA Consumer Relations Feedback Form

As for me, I got a wonderfully wise fortune cookie with the check the other day. One side had 6 numbers for a Super Lotto pick; the other side said "Don't count your chickens before they hatch."

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Well, since fortune cookies are hardly a venerable old dessert passed down through generations of Chinese people and smuggled through Angel Island under the coat of some immigrant, I personally can't get all that miffy about it.

As if that's not bad

enough, at least one of the fortunes regurgitates an offensive old

stereotype; my fortune last night read, "Snapple predicts: You will

be hungry again in an hour."

I'm not up on this particular stereotype, but upon some thought I can guess the meaning.

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It's the as far as I can tell totally groundless idea that when you eat Chinese food, you feel hungry soon thereafter.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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This is because some people don't eat the rice.

BB


Food is all about history and geography.

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That could explain it.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Here's a great fortune cookie story:

We had acouple of customers at our restaurant who always came in for supper on Thurs. The fortune cookies we served had fortunes on one side, and lucky lotto numbers on the reverse side. The one and only time they played the numbers from a cookie, they won $10,000.00!! They brought a large party of family and friends in for supper after they collected their winnings.

Shortlly after, the fortune cookie company replaced the numbers with French translations of the fortune :angry:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I like the fortune cookies with Chinese words on the flip side.

I think I must have mentioned this somewhere, but my alltime favorite fortune cookie fortune is "If you need advice, call your mother." I called my mother and told her that fortune, and we both had a good laugh about it. :laugh:


Michael aka "Pan

 

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This is because some people don't eat the rice.

You're supposed to eat the rice?? :laugh:

In fact, when dining out or in a home as guests, Chinese typically do NOT eat rice. It's a face thing, because you fear signaling that you are too poor/cheap to provide enough dishes to satisfy a hunger, or that your host has not done the same.

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as far as I can tell totally groundless idea that when you eat Chinese food, you feel hungry soon thereafter.

It's actually not groundless or a stereotype. There is nutritional and scientific evidence how certain foods, after consuming it, spike the blood sugar level with a corresponding depletion of energy shortly after consumption. It's called the Glycemic Index (GI), in which foods low on the GI scale break down more slowly and maintain a steady delivery of sugar into the bloodstream rather than producing a sugar spike associated with high glycemic foods. That sugar spike is quickly followed by a rapid drop in your blood sugar which leads to hunger. This is where the notion that you get hungry an hour after eating Chinese food.

To take an extreme example, chocolate bars are high on the Glycemic Index and when consumed, it spikes your blood sugar level. High GI foods like the chocolate bar are quickly broken down and stored as fat. But soon after, the body will be hungry again because it is so quickly broken down in the body. On the other hand, if you consume a bowl of brown rice or 100% stone ground bread, it takes the body much, much longer to break down these items and you will not be hungry soon after as the food is still digesting in your body.

That is why GI diets recommend you to stay away from Chinese foods because it is high on the GI scale with its white rice and saucy dishes. HOWEVER, there is a real misperception that all Chinese food is high on the GI scale. I suspect people who make that mistake have a very limited understanding of Chinese cuisine. Yes, sweet and sour sauces are high on the GI scale because of the copious amounts of sugar used in those dishes. Yes, deep fried veal balls are out of the question because they are loaded with fat and calories. Even glutinous rice is high on the GI scale because of the way it has been produced as a sticky, starchy white rice.

But as we all know among us, Chinese cuisine is NOT the stuff you find in mall food courts. It's much more complex, balanced with an abudance of vegetables, a portion of meats and a "small" accompaniment of long grain rice (which is recommended in the GI diet) at every dinner table.

So, in a way, there is some truth to the statement that people go hungry after consuming Chinese food. But the question is, what kind of Chinese food are they consuming anyways? Certainly not the real stuff that has sustained the oldest civilization known to humans.


Edited by cwyc (log)

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This is because some people don't eat the rice.

You're supposed to eat the rice?? :laugh:

In fact, when dining out or in a home as guests, Chinese typically do NOT eat rice. It's a face thing, because you fear signaling that you are too poor/cheap to provide enough dishes to satisfy a hunger, or that your host has not done the same.

I follow your logic, but I've never noticed the behavior. Whenever I've dined with Chinese people or observed them at banquets, they've always eaten rice.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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This is because some people don't eat the rice.

You're supposed to eat the rice?? :laugh:

In fact, when dining out or in a home as guests, Chinese typically do NOT eat rice. It's a face thing, because you fear signaling that you are too poor/cheap to provide enough dishes to satisfy a hunger, or that your host has not done the same.

I follow your logic, but I've never noticed the behavior. Whenever I've dined with Chinese people or observed them at banquets, they've always eaten rice.

I would also disagree.

In my experience, Chinese eating out in restaurants or other people's homes (been a while since I've eaten in someone else's home though) eat less rice, but not no rice.

Also, you're always supposed to have leftovers. Indication of abundance.


Edited by herbacidal (log)

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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I would also disagree.

In my experience, Chinese eating out in restaurants or other people's homes (been a while since I've eaten in someone else's home though) eat less rice, but not no rice.

Also, you're always supposed to have leftovers.  Indication of abundance.

Your experience may be different, but my observations hold true for every dinner meal I've had in China, and every meal with mainland Chinese friends here in San Francisco. At homes, hosts will typically have a pot of rice available in the kitchen, and will ask at the tail end of the meal if anyone wants rice. The expected response is to decline.

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I've never been in a home for dinner where rice wasn't part of the meal...but then I tend to beg to be invited for homestyle ordinary stuff, not the fancy meals. Super fancy banquets are a different story, of course.

regards,

trillium

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I've never been in a home for dinner where rice wasn't part of the meal...but then I tend to beg to be invited for homestyle ordinary stuff, not the fancy meals. Super fancy banquets are a different story, of course.

regards,

trillium

Maybe it's a Cantonese or Chinese-American thing. Or conversely, maybe the diminshed role of rice is a Shanghainese or northern thing. It could be the Shanghainese penchant for gamesmanship, or the fact that they historically spend more money per capita on food.

My wife serves rice with every meal EXCEPT when we have guests, even relatives. Then she kicks up the number of dishes and the rice is held back in the kitchen to be available on request. All her relatives, both here and in Shanghai, do the same thing.

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Maybe it's a Cantonese or Chinese-American thing. Or conversely, maybe the diminshed role of rice is a Shanghainese or northern thing. It could be the Shanghainese penchant for gamesmanship, or the fact that they historically spend more money per capita on food.

i would probably lean towards Cantonese v. Shanghaiese.


Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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