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Ben and Jerry's Taste the Lin-Sanity

brooklynkoshereater Feb 25, 2012 07:40 PM


Offensive? Delicious? Discuss...

  1. Chemicalkinetics Mar 8, 2012 07:41 AM

    Not offensive, and not delicious. Fortune cookies are very Chinese anyway. It is an American invention. Maybe that is why it is offensive.

    Anyway, it does not sound tasty.

    1. s
      Saluti Mar 3, 2012 12:06 PM

      I'm not someone who is easily offended and am surprised at the number of people who are.
      I think it was meant to be a very light-hearted and fun way of honoring someone. Should we boycott See's Candy for selling the chocolate potato around St. Patrick's Day? Is that offensive? I know some people will disagree with me but I think we are getting a bit too touchy in this country.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Saluti
        Bellachefa Mar 3, 2012 01:47 PM

        Amen, considering our country is a melting pot of ethnicity. Saluti, did you see my first reply in which I compared this to Baileys Irish Cream Ice Cream Mixed with Lucky Charms Cereal. The whole offended thing is misplaced imho

        1. re: Bellachefa
          DeppityDawg Mar 4, 2012 05:17 AM

          The problem is, for every association of a certain food with a certain group that most of us find OK, we can find another food-group association that most of us find not OK. So I don't think we can take one example and use it to predict how people are going to feel about a totally different example, or worse, to declare how people are _supposed_ to feel about it.

          If someone happens to disagree with you about the fortune cookie thing, I doubt you'll be able to convince them to stop feeling that way by pointing out some other food association that they react to in a different way and saying "Gotcha! You're _inconsistent_!" Because they can turn around and do exactly the same thing to you. And the conversation tends to go downhill from there…

      2. Luvfriedokra Mar 2, 2012 04:35 PM

        Interesting thread. As somebody mentioned down thread, it would be nice if people could stop focusing on his ethnicity-although the ice cream is definitely the least offensive of all the things that have been said about him and to him. Amazing that old stereotypes still exist-one of the star basketball players at my high school was Vietnamese.

        1. a
          AMFM Mar 2, 2012 06:52 AM

          Ben & Jerry's is trying to be funny. This is what they do. Sometimes that requires pushing the envelope a bit.
          I will admit I am not a minority, except as a female which in my profession has often led to people making false assumptions or treating me differently, but I would presume that if someone were going to make an ice cream about me when I become a famous basketball star (if you're thinking about investing, don't. It's not likely to happen) I would think they would focus on things that make me stand out from every other basketball star. Frankly Cincinnati chili flavored ice cream sounds disgusting but that or something to do with red hair and freckles would likely be what they pick. So it would be trite and silly. And 8 year old me who hated getting made fun of for those things might have had a problem with it. But... Grown up me is ok with who I am and if you want to make strawberry ice cream with chocolate chip freckles or some such silly thing with a picture of Annie on the cover, cool. I'd still be flattered. If you just asked me to design a flavor of ice cream - which would be way more likely lavender, lemon, & honey or something - that would be a different company. It's not what Ben & Jerry's does.
          Sometimes we just need to learn to laugh at ourselves, to embrace our differences, and to stop presuming everyone is out to get us. Because when we approach the world defensively, no good can come of that.

          20 Replies
          1. re: AMFM
            FattyDumplin Mar 2, 2012 09:27 AM

            Things that make you stand out? So what if Lin-sanity ice cream was banana flavored? Would that have been ok as well?

            Although banana flavored ice scream with fortune cookie chips sounds awesome. Almost like banana pudding with nilla wafers!

            1. re: FattyDumplin
              DeppityDawg Mar 2, 2012 11:39 AM

              Banana?? Lin plays in the NBA. That makes him _black_ inside, duh…

              1. re: DeppityDawg
                FattyDumplin Mar 2, 2012 01:28 PM

                Hahaha. I chortled.

                1. re: FattyDumplin
                  trolley Mar 2, 2012 03:42 PM

                  FattyDumplin i concur. just as some else mentioned...would you make a watermelon/fried chicken flavored ice cream for Obama? Probably not. But for some reason many people seem to think it's ok to do that to an Asian. This guy Bill Plaschke had an opinion piece in the LA times about this he quotes a professor of ethnic studies..."In this country, Asian Americans are stereotyped as the meek and the mild, the ones who will always take the racism," read this piece if you still don't understand why making a fortune cookie ice cream is in poor taste. seriously.


                  mmmm...banana chunks with nilla wafers. or how about twinkies? ;)

                  1. re: trolley
                    Miss Needle Mar 2, 2012 03:51 PM

                    Taking the whole race thing out of the equation, I think banana chunks with nilla wafers would make for a most excellent ice cream.

                    1. re: Miss Needle
                      trolley Mar 2, 2012 04:33 PM

                      yeah, i do too miss needle. i was thinking banana chunks dipped in chocolate and nilla wafter. mmmm....

                      1. re: trolley
                        FattyDumplin Mar 2, 2012 06:53 PM

                        oh wow.... dark chocolate obviously to cut the sweetness.

                        1. re: FattyDumplin
                          trolley Mar 2, 2012 07:33 PM

                          yes, of course dark!

                          1. re: trolley
                            Lizard Mar 2, 2012 11:38 PM

                            Now I want ice cream for my breakfast. Thanks.

                      2. re: Miss Needle
                        Luvfriedokra Mar 2, 2012 04:36 PM

                        I'd buy it!

                        1. re: Luvfriedokra
                          AMFM Mar 3, 2012 06:45 AM

                          If people are offended then it's not ok and hurtful. But I would not have meant anything degrading or hurtful about it. It's mass marketing. Of course he's more than that. Of course it's stereotyping. I think it's why it's funny. But maybe because there is still such a chunk of the world who doesn't get that then it's not.

                          1. re: AMFM
                            Luvfriedokra Mar 4, 2012 02:16 PM

                            Minstrel and blackface were mass marked, too. Meant as a joke, but not funny(to me). There are a lot of painful things that are behind stereotyping, which is why I think some people took offense. To someone who hasn't been on the end of it, it may be funny, but if you've dealt with stereotypes and slurs your whole life, not so much. I think we all "get" stereotypes, but not everybody sees the humor.

                        2. re: Miss Needle
                          goodhealthgourmet Mar 6, 2012 12:25 PM

                          "Banana Whama" anyone?


                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            Miss Needle Mar 7, 2012 02:09 PM

                            Thanks so much GHG. I picked up a pint of that and it was wonderful! A bit dear at $8 a pint, and was wishing for more nilla wafers. But I liked how the texture of the ice cream was slightly fluffy, mimicking the texture of banana pudding.

                            1. re: Miss Needle
                              goodhealthgourmet Mar 8, 2012 07:16 AM

                              wow, i didn't expect you to run out & buy it on the spot! but i'm glad to hear you enjoyed it - perhaps if you decide to splurge on another pint you can pick up a box of Nilla wafers and crumble some over it as a topping...maybe even drizzle some good fudge sauce on there too for the chocolate aspect ;)

                        3. re: trolley
                          ttoommyy Mar 3, 2012 04:14 AM

                          ..."In this country, Asian Americans are stereotyped as the meek and the mild, the ones who will always take the racism,"

                          Try watching a night of sitcoms on TV or a few movies like the Hangover and see just how many homophobic jokes are made. If you are straight you won't even notice them unless you are looking for them. It seems to be OK to poke fun at gays for entertainment sake. And why is it "ok?" Because gays are regularly denounced by politicians, church leaders and other authority figures as being amoral, inferior and unnatural...all things african americans were once called.

                          To single out Asian-Americans as the "ones who will always take the racism" is ludicrous. That statement offends me to the core!

                          That's my last word on this subject.

                          1. re: ttoommyy
                            trolley Mar 3, 2012 09:33 AM

                            i'm just quoting an article i linked to which quotes a professor in ethnic studies ttoommyy. sure gays have a long way to go in equality and subjected to stereotyping everywhere we go. that's very clear however, we're talking about Jeremy Lin and the Ben and Jerry's Lin-Sanity flavor that was pulled. we're not talking about the Harvey Milk flavor. But to denounce or to deny that racism exists against Asians is simply wrong and to make it about gays is just misguided bc that's not what this discussion is about. Gays and Asians (although the two circles overlap since there are gay asians) are two different groups that both face stereotyping in the media and everywhere else. so lets hold hands and and fight the power! speaking of the hangover wasn't there an asian guy who played a stereotyped asian too?

                            1. re: ttoommyy
                              FattyDumplin Mar 3, 2012 07:18 PM

                              ttoommyy, we've disagreed on this topic so far, but you're absoultely right that gays are also treated in a similar manner. Look, I think we should all be able to laugh at un-PC humor (hey, I generally find it funny). But, I think it's also equally important to respect the views of those who do take offense and not just chalk them up as a tighta--es...

                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                hobbess Mar 3, 2012 11:21 PM

                                Why is it ludicrous to point out that Asian-Americans as the 'ones who will always take the racism' when the examples you're citing are of homophobia, not racism?

                              2. re: trolley
                                TroyTempest Mar 4, 2012 06:29 PM

                                I was going to say something but figured why bother,
                                but since i can't delete, well you get the idea.

                      3. d
                        DeppityDawg Mar 1, 2012 06:08 AM

                        Can we also discuss: Schweddy Balls, Karamel Sutra, Black and Tan, Dublin Mudslide, Jamaican Me Crazy, Chubby Hubby (and the variation "Hubby Hubby"), Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies… Ben & Jerry's knows that some of their flavors and flavor names are subversive/risqué and that some people will be offended (or decide to be offended). They do it on purpose, not specifically to offend, but because they figure that the majority of their potential customers will find it cute/appealing/memorable and buy their product.

                        If a Jeremy Lin-based flavor goes nationwide (which I doubt it will), I'm sure they will reconsider including any ingredients explicitly associated with Taiwanese/Chinese culture or the Asian-American experience, because it's just not worth it. And we will end up with yet another Ben & Jerry's flavor with chocolate shapes and a caramel swirl. Ho hum. While they're at it, they should also change the name, because the term "Lin-sanity" is dismissive of the hundreds of thousands of Americans bravely facing real mental health issues every day, and that is unacceptable. ("Chocolate Therapy" should also be discontinued immediately, for the same reason.)

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: DeppityDawg
                          wyogal Mar 1, 2012 06:50 AM

                          and still, no one has commented on the Snapple commercial, tea (brown, black guy), fighting with lemon (yellow, asian guy), while two white guys look on from above. I find it extremely offensive, and no one has even batted an eye...

                          1. re: wyogal
                            DeppityDawg Mar 1, 2012 07:13 AM

                            Maybe because people are trying to stay more or less on topic… I think if you started a thread about that commercial (and provided a link to a video of it), many people would agree with you. But in the Snapple case, it's the marketing of the product that could be perceived as offensive, not the product itself.

                            1. re: DeppityDawg
                              wyogal Mar 1, 2012 07:16 AM

                              so sorry to divert.... completely different topic.
                              of course.

                          2. re: DeppityDawg
                            paulj Mar 1, 2012 08:38 AM

                            B&J did not coin 'linsanity' - at most they added the dash.

                            1. re: paulj
                              DeppityDawg Mar 1, 2012 08:45 AM

                              I was really only joking about "Lin-sanity" being insensitive to the mentally ill (although someone who is sensitized to this specific issue could very well use the same argument in all earnestness), but what difference does it make if they coined it or not? They didn't invent fortune cookies either, apparently…

                            2. re: DeppityDawg
                              Bellachefa Mar 1, 2012 11:04 AM

                              "some people will be offended (or decide to be offended). "

                              love that!

                              1. re: Bellachefa
                                ttoommyy Mar 1, 2012 12:15 PM

                                I agree. I think most people who are "offended" think it is PC to be offended and that they are doing the Chinese-American population a favor by "sticking up" for them.

                                I'm a gay male and I'm happy when someone is truly supportive of me. But when I see people on TV acting like they are OK with gays just because of sensitivity training or some such thing, It makes me cringe. It is so easy for me to see through newscasters, talk show hosts, etc. who are just being PC ad don't really feel comfortable interviewing that out actor or actress, covering the gay pride parade, etc. Same goes for work: seems like a lot of people are "told" to accept Gay Pride day, Latino Day, Asian-American Day and so on in the workplace. I'm uncomfortable when we have those days because they seem so forced and not heartfelt.

                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                  Luvfriedokra Mar 2, 2012 11:53 AM

                                  Just curious, when you say Latino Day, Gay Pride Day,etc., is this some sort of diversity day/workshop? I'm just trying to picture what you meant.

                                  1. re: Luvfriedokra
                                    ttoommyy Mar 2, 2012 12:02 PM

                                    For example: June is Gay Pride month, February is Black History month, National Hispanic Heritage Month is 9/15-10/15, etc. When these months roll around our HR/diversity department sends out e-mails with events planned for a few days: special guests speakers, pot luck lunches, movies, etc., to help celebrate the culture featured.

                                    1. re: ttoommyy
                                      Bellachefa Mar 2, 2012 12:08 PM

                                      do they serve egg rolls and fortune cookies for chinese new year?

                                      1. re: Bellachefa
                                        ttoommyy Mar 2, 2012 12:26 PM

                                        Not sure; I usually don't go to these type of things. But my Chinese coworker always brings in pork buns and shrimp chips for Chinese New Year.

                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                          Bellachefa Mar 2, 2012 12:29 PM

                                          cheers! considering so many on this thread have differing opinions, it has been interesting and good fun!

                            3. g
                              gmk1322 Feb 27, 2012 01:14 PM

                              Well what about the lychee? According to the Huffington post the ice cream has a lychee swirl which is a fruit most commonly associated with Asian cuisine. They didn't remove this component; is it because most people don't even know what a lychee is but know a fortune cookie?

                              21 Replies
                              1. re: gmk1322
                                goodhealthgourmet Feb 27, 2012 01:55 PM

                                i thought about that too. originally i assumed there just aren't as many people who are familiar with the lychee...then i thought perhaps it was because the lychee isn't unique to China...but ironically, the fortune cookie didn't even originate in China - it was a Japanese invention!

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                  Harmy Mar 1, 2012 03:15 AM

                                  I think the problem with the fortune cookie is that it's an American product, associated with low-cost, poorly-marketed Chinese food. You know, the reason that lo mein is $7 and fettuccine can fetch $17. It's a mark of shame, kind of like opium.

                                  In contrast, lychee's something to be proud of: it's grown extensively in China, identifiable by Chinese / Taiwanese people as 'their own,' and isn't an embarrassment.

                                  @Miss Needle - I've also gotten random people (children, sometimes, with parents nearby, not intervening) who make karate noises or "ching ching chong" utterances at me. Ugh. Thank god for research universities and tech hubs, where the townspeople, through exposure, have realized that people of Asian descent are people too, not just caricatures promoted by movies and ice cream flavors like this one.

                                  1. re: Harmy
                                    goodhealthgourmet Mar 1, 2012 11:21 AM

                                    that's a really thoughtful and sensible explanation, Harmy. thanks for taking the time to post it.

                                    and i'm sorry you've experienced such nasty prejudice - i'm no stranger to it myself, having been the target of (and witness to) antisemitism on many occasions. sadly, ignorance and bigotry are alive and well even in this modern, supposedly civilized world.

                                    1. re: Harmy
                                      FattyDumplin Mar 1, 2012 04:04 PM

                                      Harmy, nice post. I think you've really nailed why the fortune cookie draws such ire. I've seen it mentioned repeatedly that (and I am paraphrasing) "most of the Chinese restaurants hand out fortune cookies at the end of the meal, so it's really an identifiable part of Chinese-American culture."

                                      So, the past couple days, I've had lunch and dinner at "American-ish" Chinese places and directly asked the owner why they have fortune cookies. 1 said because everyone else does and 3 said that if they don't, then invariably, their clientele complains and says "where's my fortune cookie". 2 of the 3 owners in the latter group rolled their eyes as they said it. The other said they don't get it, but whatever, it's what the "whitey" (her words) wants and they're the customer.

                                      So, that small sampling hopefully provides some insight why the tiny simple fortune cookie is such a divisive little thing. It's stupid, it's not Chinese, most Chinese-Americans I know don't eat them, and yet they are served because that's what mainstream America wants. So don't call them a Chinese-American symbol - they aren't, they are simply perceived by non-Chinese-American's as a part of the Chinese-American identity.

                                      1. re: FattyDumplin
                                        ttoommyy Mar 1, 2012 06:29 PM

                                        So what you are saying FattyDumplin is that the Chinese owners of these restaurants serve fortune cookies to make "whitey" happy. Sounds like these Chinese owners are perpetuating the stereotype and pretty much setting themseves back 100 years by trying to please "whitey." Interesting.

                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                          paulj Mar 1, 2012 07:20 PM

                                          I suggest reading the Fortune Cookie Chronicles. It covers many aspects of Chinese restaurant culture in the USA and else where.

                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                            FattyDumplin Mar 1, 2012 07:51 PM

                                            Ttoommyy, here's an analogy... Every time I've seen a customer treat restaurant staff like s---, the staff just grins and bears it. Does it mean the staff doesn't mind being treated like s---? No, it just means they do what they have to do to keep the customer in his seat and coming back.

                                            1. re: FattyDumplin
                                              Bellachefa Mar 1, 2012 08:17 PM

                                              sounds like reverse racism special wonton soup to me and bs

                                              1. re: Bellachefa
                                                FattyDumplin Mar 1, 2012 08:21 PM

                                                don't disagree there is reverse racism, which i can imagine is frustrating for the true 'hounds who just want good ethnic food.

                                                yet, if the bulk of your clientele wants the cookies and expects them, what are you going to?

                                              2. re: FattyDumplin
                                                ttoommyy Mar 2, 2012 06:19 AM

                                                "Ttoommyy, here's an analogy... Every time I've seen a customer treat restaurant staff like s---, the staff just grins and bears it. Does it mean the staff doesn't mind being treated like s---? No, it just means they do what they have to do to keep the customer in his seat and coming back."

                                                The staff of any service operation often get treated badly and grin and bear it for the sake of the business, be it Chinese, Italian, Jewish, white, black, etc. Going out of ones way to perpetuate what many, many people in this thread feel is a stereotype (serving fortune cookies) is a very different thing.

                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                  FattyDumplin Mar 2, 2012 09:26 AM

                                                  Right, but if not going out of ones way to perpetuate the stereotype leads to unhappy customers, then what? Case in point, see RUK's post below: "I would think including a couple of fortune cookies with your meal is simply good for business". Now, one might question whether you're supposed to sacrifice who you are as a person in order to do well in business, but hey, it's a tough economy and you do what you have to, I suppose.

                                                  We'll probably to agree to disagree on this topic, but that's cool. It's a polarizing issue and I don't think there's any right "answer", it's just how one chooses to react. I won't be vocal about raising the issue, as I understand the non-malicious intent and just let it go, but I will be vocal about those who choose to defend it....

                                                  1. re: FattyDumplin
                                                    paulj Mar 2, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                    'sacrifice who you are as a person' - there in lies a crucial question. Do things like fortune cookies and takeout boxes violate the personal values of a Chinese restaurant owner. They might violate the values of a dinner who seeks an 'authentic' dining experiences more. The owner, or staff, might not value 'authenticity' to the same degree. It's a job, a business, not a person expression of their values or heritage.

                                                    Jenifer 8 has a chapter about a couple that bought (with the help of relatives) a Chinese restaurant in a small Georgia town. Both were relatively recent immigrants from China (from the district in the south that has been a major source of Chinese restaurant workers). He had worked as a waiter, she as a garment worker. They worked from a large folder, a Chinese restaurant owners manual, and learned to make the standards like chow mein and General Tso's Chicken (that's another chapter), as well as the mechanics of running a business.

                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                      FattyDumplin Mar 2, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                      Paulj, that's exactly the point. Chinese restaurant owners tend to serve fortune cookies, plum sauce, general tso's, etc., not because it is an expression of their values or heritage, but because they make a business decision. For better or for worse, the diners who value "authentic" experiences aren't the ones who pay the bills...

                                                      And that is why, some might find it offensive for B&J to then associate fortune cookies with Chinese Americans. It's not really by choice (imho), but by necessity... ok that's a bit strongly worded, but I think you get what I mean.

                                                    2. re: FattyDumplin
                                                      ttoommyy Mar 2, 2012 10:40 AM

                                                      "We'll probably to agree to disagree on this topic, but that's cool. "

                                                      Exactly. But I have a question:

                                                      Is it OK for Chinese restaurant owners to perpetuate the stereotype but wrong for B&J to buy into it? One can make money from it but the other can't?

                                                      1. re: ttoommyy
                                                        FattyDumplin Mar 2, 2012 11:17 AM

                                                        Fair point. As a Chinese American, I can sympatheize with Chinese restaurants and why they do this because people need to survive. They can't help that it's what mainstream America wants. But B&J, not so much. They don't need to perpetuate stereotypes to survive, do they?

                                                        But I agree, there is a double standard that I haven't fully reconciled in my mind yet...

                                                        1. re: FattyDumplin
                                                          Bellachefa Mar 2, 2012 11:27 AM

                                                          wow that is a huge double standard. So you would forgive all chinese american restaurants for serving fortune cookies, that they have marketed for decades as part of their brand, but would fault an junior employee in an ice cream empire for not "knowing' that the thousands of Chinese American Immigrants that own restaurants were simply patronizing their patrons??????

                                                          I applaud you for your intelligent posts and for admitting that you may be guilty of a double standard. All of us humans are guilty, no?

                                                          1. re: Bellachefa
                                                            FattyDumplin Mar 2, 2012 01:28 PM

                                                            That we are... it's what makes us human :)

                                                            1. re: Bellachefa
                                                              Lizard Mar 2, 2012 11:36 PM

                                                              Do you seriously not understand how an ice cream 'tribute' that reduces a person to his ethnicity is problematic? And how this is not the same thing as a generalised practice within American restaurants?

                                                  2. re: ttoommyy
                                                    RUK Mar 2, 2012 06:15 AM

                                                    At the danger that I get deleted again, but - what's so wrong with a friendly, nice tradition? ( And also, who cares who started it? ) And setting themselves back 100 years? Huh? I would think including a couple of fortune cookies with your meal is simply good for business.
                                                    Do you people here also think Grimm's fairy tales are real? Good grief, lighten up.

                                                    1. re: RUK
                                                      ttoommyy Mar 2, 2012 06:17 AM

                                                      "And setting themselves back 100 years? Huh?"

                                                      I was being sarcastic RUK.

                                                      "Do you people here also think Grimm's fairy tales are real?"

                                                      Of course!

                                                      1. re: ttoommyy
                                                        RUK Mar 2, 2012 06:22 AM

                                                        ttommyy - good. Whew. :-)

                                                        edited too for the second part of your answer: @-@..... ;-)

                                          2. s
                                            small h Feb 27, 2012 09:04 AM

                                            I think it would be a better idea to recognize Lin's athletic achievements - rather than his ethnic background - by creating a flavor that somehow conjures up the spirit of basketball (don't ask me what that might be). Being a Taiwanese-American isn't something Lin had any control over, so it seems like an odd way to honor him: Hey, congrats on being the child of your parents! Because if that's all it takes, I should get my own flavor.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: small h
                                              PenskeFan Feb 27, 2012 09:54 AM

                                              Or do a Harvard tie in - at least that is somewhere he chose to go and has some affinity to. Could have done crunchy "harvard squares" mixed in.

                                              1. re: small h
                                                goodhealthgourmet Feb 27, 2012 01:07 PM

                                                I think it would be a better idea to recognize Lin's athletic achievements
                                                agreed. i personally would have liked to see a tie-in to the Knicks, considering that this Lin-sanity phenomenon is a product of his debut on their roster...but it's highly unlikely that a shop located in Celtics territory would have unveiled something like that ;)

                                              2. w
                                                wyogal Feb 27, 2012 07:15 AM

                                                What I don't understand is why the Snapple commercial (lemonade/iced tea "fight.") is not equally outrageous.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: wyogal
                                                  mpjmph Feb 27, 2012 08:25 AM

                                                  I've wondered the same thing...

                                                  1. re: wyogal
                                                    PenskeFan Feb 27, 2012 08:26 AM

                                                    Well for one thing, this was supposedly something to HONOR Lin.

                                                    1. re: PenskeFan
                                                      Bellachefa Feb 27, 2012 12:20 PM

                                                      what????? are we creating a conspiracy theory by adding the word "supposedly? "

                                                  2. s
                                                    soupkitten Feb 26, 2012 08:57 PM

                                                    i commented about this to dh.... he pointed out that b&j never asked jerry garcia's preferences when they came up w and named their iconic "cherry garcia" flavor.

                                                    otoh they have also handled this differently with consenting celebrities... i am thinking of a very tasty peach cobbler variety with willie nelson's face on the carton.

                                                    1. g
                                                      gmk1322 Feb 26, 2012 08:08 PM

                                                      I think people should lighten up a little, Jeremy Lin is Chinese-American so what is wrong with a Fortune Cookie? I think if he was any other Asian ethnicity and they used a fortune cookie then it would be an issue.

                                                      26 Replies
                                                      1. re: gmk1322
                                                        PenskeFan Feb 26, 2012 08:25 PM

                                                        Because of course all Chinese Americans like fortune cookies? Why go with stereotypes?

                                                        1. re: PenskeFan
                                                          ttoommyy Feb 27, 2012 06:20 AM

                                                          "Because of course all Chinese Americans like fortune cookies? Why go with stereotypes?"

                                                          Fortune cookies are served at EVERY Chinese restaurant I've ever been to and I believe the staff and owners of those restaurants were all CHINESE. I'm not saying every Chinese person likes fortune cookies. I'm just pointing out that they are part of the Chinese-American cuisine, like it or not. Why is everyone so upset about this? Talk about going out of the way to be politically correct. Like I said earlier, would people be outraged if B&J made an ice cream for a famous Italian-American, say Robert De Niro, and they included bits of canolli shell in it?

                                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                                            PenskeFan Feb 27, 2012 06:39 AM

                                                            Is Lin a restauranteur? He plays basketball.

                                                            Would people be upset if they made a watermelon flavored ice cream for Obama ? You bet they would, and they should. and if some right leaning group did that instead of progressives like Ben and Jerry, the outrage would have reached a fever pitch by now.

                                                            Remember when a cafeteria served Fried Chicken on Martin Luther King's day? There was certainly outrage then. Are racial stereotypes only wrong for one race, or are they in poor taste for all races?

                                                            I am not outraged, I am merely saying it is wrong and people need to be consistent. Either stereotypes are wrong for everyone, or they are fine. And that includes Cannoli, unless of course, DeNiro said that he loves cannoli shell in ice cream?

                                                            1. re: PenskeFan
                                                              ttoommyy Feb 27, 2012 07:07 AM

                                                              "I am not outraged, I am merely saying it is wrong and people need to be consistent. Either stereotypes are wrong for everyone, or they are fine."

                                                              So TV shows like The Sopranos are wrong then? Not EVERY Italian-American likes or condones that show. But it has achieved a high place in the canon of classic TV shows.

                                                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                PenskeFan Feb 27, 2012 08:24 AM

                                                                Was the Sopranos made to honor Italians?

                                                                1. re: PenskeFan
                                                                  Lizard Feb 27, 2012 09:35 AM

                                                                  We can take this further: The programme wasn't made to honour a single person's achievements.

                                                                  The flavour is problematic because it reduces Lin to his ethnicity and not to his achievements.

                                                                  1. re: PenskeFan
                                                                    ttoommyy Feb 27, 2012 09:37 AM

                                                                    No. But I was commenting on the statement, "Either stereotypes are wrong for everyone, or they are fine."

                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                      PenskeFan Feb 27, 2012 09:48 AM

                                                                      Which was said in the context of the discussion, which is about a flavor of ice cream to honor someone by reducing their essence to their ethnicity (as Lizard aptly put it)

                                                                      1. re: PenskeFan
                                                                        ttoommyy Feb 27, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                                        So, stereotyping (as most of you see it in Lin's case) is a bad thing but it is OK by many people in the case of a show like The Sopranos, because it entertains a lot of people and makes the actors wealthy and famous.

                                                                        I'm outta here. I can't win this one.

                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                          PenskeFan Feb 27, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                          Actually I thought the show was detestable and disgusting, but it was never made to honor anyone.

                                                                2. re: PenskeFan
                                                                  FattyDumplin Feb 27, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                                  Wow. I had a reply all typed up and then I read your post, which basically echoes exactly what I wanted to stay. It's not about whether it is racist or insensitive or not. Some may think it is, others may not. But there needs to be consistent application of racial etiquette.

                                                                3. re: ttoommyy
                                                                  ipsedixit Feb 27, 2012 06:47 AM

                                                                  Fortune cookies are served at EVERY Chinese restaurant I've ever been to ...

                                                                  Really? Every Chinese restaurant??

                                                                  If that's true, you need to broaden your Chinese restaurant options.

                                                                  I can't remember the last Chinese restaurant that offered me a fortune cookie. Maybe Panda Express, but then I don't really consider that a real Chinese restaurant (more like a Americanized Chinese fast-food place ... Panda Express is to Chinese food as Chipotle is to Mexican food, if you will.)

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                    ttoommyy Feb 27, 2012 07:03 AM

                                                                    "Fortune cookies are served at EVERY Chinese restaurant I've ever been to and I believe the staff and owners of those restaurants were all CHINESE"

                                                                    Please use the complete excerpt if you are going to quote me. We have about 10 Chinese restaurants in the city I live in and they all offer fortune cookies: eat in or take out.They are not part of a chain and are Chinese owned and operated from what I can see.

                                                                    Listen, I know stereotyping from first hand experience. I live with it every minute of every day. I would not condone this ice cream flavor if I really thought it was stereotyping.

                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                      ipsedixit Feb 27, 2012 07:07 AM

                                                                      Who cares if they are owned by Chinese folks or Martians?

                                                                      The point is you are saying that every Chinese restaurant you've been to offers fortune cookies.

                                                                      That's rather astounding.

                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                        ttoommyy Feb 27, 2012 07:13 AM

                                                                        "Who cares if they are owned by Chinese folks or Martians?"

                                                                        Because if a Chinese owner of a Chinese restaurant offers fortune cookies, then are they guilty of stereotyping?

                                                                        If I've been to 100 Chinese restaurants, I am positive 90 of them offered fortune cookies. Maybe it's a regional thing; that can be where the misunderstanding is. In the NYC metro area, it is commonplace to have fortune cookies offered after the meal and with take-out. Yes, in 2012.

                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                          ipsedixit Feb 27, 2012 07:20 AM

                                                                          Neither Joe's nor Nan Xiang offer fortune cookies.

                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                            Chris VR Feb 27, 2012 08:10 AM

                                                                            I live in the Boston area (where this flavor was available) and I haven't been to a Chinese restaurant around here that didn't offer fortune cookies at the end of the meal. I haven't been to all of them but they are very VERY common here. Of course, it's only in the last 20 years that Chinese restaurants around here stopped offering fluffy white rolls so take that for what you may.

                                                                            1. re: Chris VR
                                                                              Bellachefa Feb 27, 2012 10:42 AM

                                                                              Yup, I'm from the Boston area and agree with Chris. And let's face it everyone, this was a small local batch to honor a Harvard grad, not a mass marketed nationally distributed flavour.

                                                                              Fortune cookies on a tray with the bill at the end of a meal are a norm in Boston and the suburbs. Fortune cookies in a tiny bag are always in the takeout bag. Some people have an odd way of twisting things to make them racially motivated. How are fortune cookies offensive but lichee not?

                                                                              Rather then lower themselves to this kind of dialogue, the local rep apologized for any ill concieved interpretation of their intent.

                                                                              Furthermore, they switched to waffle pieces because the fortune cookies couldn't stand up to the cream and went all soft.

                                                                              The only opinion on this subject that matters to me is Lin's.

                                                                              1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                ttoommyy Feb 27, 2012 10:46 AM

                                                                                Thank you Bellachefa for stating so eloquently what I, in my heated state, could not. I promised myself for Lent that I would not let things like this bother me and to channel that energy into something more positive. I apologize to anyone who I may have offended.

                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                  Bellachefa Feb 27, 2012 10:51 AM

                                                                                  Well maybe you should have done one of those self serving Lental traditions of giving up ice cream instead of trying to be a better human being...LOL!!!! Cheers and Happy Lent to you!

                                                                                  Oh, and until I hear otherwise, I'm willing to bet that Lin thought it was cool to be recognized for his Harvard and athletic endeavors.

                                                                                  1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                    ttoommyy Feb 27, 2012 10:58 AM

                                                                                    lol Thanks Bella!

                                                                            2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                              RUK Feb 27, 2012 11:34 AM

                                                                              Here in NJ ( Bergen County) all Chinese take-out come with Fortune Cookies. And nobody is upset about it.

                                                                              1. re: RUK
                                                                                LurkerDan Feb 27, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                Pretty much everywhere I've lived, your run of the mill Chinese restaurants offer fortune cookies. It's hard for me to imagine someone arguing that they are not ubiquitous. Of course, this is the internet.

                                                                                1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                  Miss Needle Feb 27, 2012 12:53 PM

                                                                                  You probably haven't been to Chinese restaurants where the vast majority of patrons are Chinese. This tends to be more common in areas with large Chinese populations such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Those restaurants tend to give you oranges (or red bean soup, etc.) instead of fortune cookies after dinner.

                                                                                  This whole Linsanity flavor reminds me of Bahlsen's Afrika cookies -- biscuits covered in dark chocolate. I'm surprised that people haven't made a ruckus over it yet.

                                                                                  Having been called things like "chow mein" and "egg foo young" by random men on the street, I am definitely sensitive to this whole race-food issue. I don't get upset but find it mildly amusing. Next time I'll retort with a dish of the catcaller's country of origin.

                                                                                  That said, I think there are some bigger fish to fry. I cant believe there's a certain cheesesteak shop still in existence. Unfortunately CH prefers we don't discuss this place on this board because it will probably turn really ugly.

                                                                                  About the whole Linsanity ice cream issue, I think Bud Light flavored ice cream with malt balls made to look like basketballs would have been a good one.

                                                                        2. re: ipsedixit
                                                                          Ruth Lafler Mar 3, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                                          I think you're being silly. Fortune Cookies aren't Chinese, and neither is Jeremy Lin -- they're both American things that are associated with China (you're not really going to argue that fortune cookies aren't "associated" with China by Americans, are you?). And let's face it, one of the reasons behind "LinSanity" is the novelty of a top-flight Asian-American basketball player. It's simply a fact that Lin is unique. If he were African American like the vast majority of basketball stars, the level of interest wouldn't be nearly as high.

                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                            ipsedixit Mar 3, 2012 01:35 PM

                                                                            Wait, Ruth, are you replying to my post?

                                                                            I'm not even sure how that responds to my inquiry as to how/why a Chinese fortune cookie is served at every Chinese restaurant that ttoommyy has been to.

                                                                  2. m
                                                                    maxie Feb 26, 2012 03:44 PM

                                                                    Lin-Sanity would make more sense if it were based on wacky food preferences of Lin himself. I assume that is not the case, though I may be incorrect. To me, that would make for a stronger product.

                                                                    1. m
                                                                      ML8000 Feb 26, 2012 03:16 PM

                                                                      The fortune cookie in ice cream isn't racist but it's weird and shows a lack of understanding or an acceptance of racial stereotypes when communicating.

                                                                      Lets put this within personal interaction and not a product associated with a media juggernaut. Let's say you're African American or Latino and someone says, "Hey bro I love (tacos, watermelon) and I love your people."

                                                                      Why the food reference, can't they think of something better to connect with? Is that all you know about that person? Does anyone say they love mayo or white bread to caucasians?

                                                                      It might not be racist but it sure shows a lack of sophistication. As to stereotypes, unfortunately racial stereotypes in the US have been used to keep people down and that's why people are sometimes sensitive.

                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                      1. re: ML8000
                                                                        ttoommyy Feb 26, 2012 06:35 PM

                                                                        Why is it a racial stereotype when fortune cookis are served in Chinese restaurants by Chinese people here in the US? Are you saying that the Chinese owners of these restaurants are perpetuating the stereotype?

                                                                        I'm Italian-American. If someone wanted to name an ice cream after me and put pieces of cannoli shell in it, I would not be offended.

                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                          ML8000 Feb 26, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                          Same reason why watermelon and fried chicken can be an offensive stereotype towards African American...used in a NON-food context.

                                                                          1. re: ML8000
                                                                            ttoommyy Feb 26, 2012 06:44 PM

                                                                            But this is a food context! Aren't we talking about ice cream?

                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                              ML8000 Feb 26, 2012 07:14 PM

                                                                              Although the Chinese invented ice cream, B&J's creation of the flavor was more about PR than food. This wasn't food and culture specific to J Lin, basketball or Asian Americans but rather PR and a form of communication by a corporation.

                                                                              As a product is this any different than Nike shoes, besides the obvious that one is food and one is not? Imagine if Nike put fortune cookies and an image of Kung Fu on the shoes they made for Lin.

                                                                              I don't think B&J meant anything by it and they apologized but you have to ask what is the message, regardless of the medium.

                                                                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                PenskeFan Feb 26, 2012 08:22 PM

                                                                                Because no one even knows if Lin likes Fortune Cookies. Why not ask Lin what sort of flavors he likes with his ice cream? Or do some sort of tie in to the fact he went to Harvard?

                                                                                1. re: PenskeFan
                                                                                  TroyTempest Mar 2, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                  And while you're at it you should also ask Jerry Garcia if he likes cherries. Oh wait, too late.

                                                                                2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                  DeppityDawg Mar 1, 2012 05:14 AM

                                                                                  Technically, we're talking about frozen yogurt. :)

                                                                              2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                Phaedrus Feb 27, 2012 06:33 PM

                                                                                Fortune cookies were invented by Japanese immigrants to America. Read Jennifer 8 Lee.


                                                                                It is anything but Chinese.

                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                  Bellachefa Feb 27, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                                  But the Chinese/Asian immigrants that run %98 of the Chinese establishments in Eastern Mass have embraced the fortune cookie and adopted it as their own for the past 40 years. Well 40 years is all I can vouch for, but it could be longer.

                                                                                  1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                    Phaedrus Feb 27, 2012 07:03 PM

                                                                                    OK, just because they have adopted lettuce in their lettuce wraps makes lettuce Chinese too?

                                                                                    Just because it is convenient for you to remember, doesn't make it so.

                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                      Justpaula Feb 28, 2012 09:53 AM

                                                                                      Well, to be fair, lettuce is found at almost every restaurant serving any type of cuisine, so it is pretty silly to make an analogy comparing it to something - fortune cookies - that are almost exclusively served in Chinese food places. Regardless of their origin, if you ask someone where they had their first fortune cookie, their last fortune cookie, and every fortune cookie in between, they are likely going to tell you "at a Chinese restaurant". I doubt the same could be said if you surveyed people on their lettuce eating.

                                                                                      1. re: Justpaula
                                                                                        ttoommyy Feb 28, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                                        Well put Justpaula.

                                                                                        1. re: Justpaula
                                                                                          Phaedrus Feb 28, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                                                          I love conversations with people who assume their assumptions are always right and should be the way it is, no matter what the reality is, and they are devoted to defending that erroneous assumption to death. Since fortune cookies are most served at Chinese restaurants, it makes immediate sense to attribute ownership and origin to that culture. Even as many others as well as myself have stated before that the fortune cookie is an invention by the Japanese immigrants to the US. The ubiquity of fortune cookies in Chinese restaurants really has nothing to do with the Chinese cuisine, which is what B&J and some of you are assuming.

                                                                                          Should all restaurants that serve French fries be termed French? Or all IHOP be Belgian because they serve Belgian waffles?

                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                            ttoommyy Feb 28, 2012 11:44 AM

                                                                                            "Should all restaurants that serve French fries be termed French? Or all IHOP be Belgian because they serve Belgian waffles?"

                                                                                            The point you are missing is that just about every fortune cookie served in the US is served from a Chinese restaurant. Whereas you can get Belgian waffles and French fries at many different types of restaurants. I concede that I may have made some wrong assumptions in my first few posts on this topic, but your post above is missing the mark.

                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                              ipsedixit Feb 29, 2012 09:59 AM

                                                                                              Pei Wei has fortune cookies.

                                                                                              And, please, don't try to convince me that's a Chinese restaurant.

                                                                                            2. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                              Justpaula Feb 28, 2012 09:55 PM

                                                                                              It is interesting that you would assume that I am misunderstood about the "ownership and origin" of fortune cookies (I am quite familiar with the history of fortune cookies), when I merely stated the fact, and it is a fact, that fortune cookies are almost exclusively served in Chinese restaurants and that lettuce is not exclusively served in Chinese restaurants - so your analogy is silly (although that last part is just my opinion). I agree that you are missing the mark with irrelevant comparisons and it strikes me as odd. Belgian waffles, french fries, and lettuce are served in a restaurants offering many varieties of cuisine. Fortune cookies are pretty much only found in Chinese restaurants, which even if it is not appropriate, is WHY people immediately associate the two - can that even be denied?

                                                                                2. a
                                                                                  attran99 Feb 26, 2012 03:07 PM

                                                                                  I find the idea rather cute and delish rather than offensive. People really need to lighten up. Fortune cookies = Americanized Chinese food...Jeremy Lin = Americanized person of Chinese descent. I think the use of Chinese 5 spice would have drawn criticism, too...though those favors are used in Chinese cooking.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: attran99
                                                                                    Shanel Feb 26, 2012 03:24 PM

                                                                                    No, I think Chinese 5 spice would be a cool idea, whereas fortune cookies is just kind of lazy.

                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                    Bellachefa Feb 26, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                                                    Good intentions to honor Lin. If he were Irish and they made a Baileys ice cream mixed with lucky charms would that be wrong?

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                      Shanel Feb 26, 2012 02:18 PM

                                                                                      Yes, such a horrid combination would be wrong.

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