Re: Cookie Folklore

karl h schwerin (schwerin@UNM.EDU)
Wed, 29 Nov 1995 14:39:07 -0700

On Fri, 24 Nov 1995, Denise Obrien wrote:

> As I assume many Anthro-Lers have recognized,the Neiman-Marcus
> cookie story is a prime example of urban folklore. It has been
> circulating widely on the 'net and in other media for some time.
> This is at least the third time it's appeared in my e-mail in the last
> few months. This recipe has an interesting variant--4 cups "flower".
> Oh well...this might be used to kickoff a discussion on urban folklore
> or folklore on the 'net but I wouldn't bother circulating it in the
> hopes of damaging Neiman-Marcus, whose PR people are probably already
> laughing all the way to the bank.
> Cheers......Denise O'Brien
> ===========================+++++++++++++++++++===========================
> | |
> PHILADELPHIA, PA 19122 U.S.A. Tel. (office)215-204-1204 |
> ===========================+++++++++++++++++++===========================

The funny thing about this story is that it long antedates the Internet.
My wife has a recipe for "Waldorf Astoria Cake" that has a similar story
concerning its origin. The woman had the cake at the Waldorf Astoria
hotel in New York and liked it so much she asked for the recipe. She was
given the recipe, but when her bill came (no Visa cards in that era
either!) she was charged $200 for it. In revenge she distributed the
recipe to all her friends with the admonition that they pass it on.

My wife has had the recipe for at least 25 years, no telling where or when
it originated. By the way it *is* a really good recipe, and by family
tradition she always makes it for Valentine's Day. (Don't ask me for it,
I doubt she'll want to share it - even for $200 a pop).

Karl Schwerin SnailMail: Dept. of Anthropology
Univ. of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131

Much charitable endeavor is motivated by an unconscious
desire to peer into lives that one is glad to be unable
to share. . . . . Edward Sapir