Neiman Marcus's Secret Cookie Recipe Costs a Bundle-Fiction!

Neiman Marcus’s Secret Cookie Recipe Costs a BundleFiction! 

Summary of eRumor: 

A customer at a Neiman Marcus Cafe in Dallas was duped into buying a “secret” cookie recipe for $250 so decided to share the Neiman Marcus secret cookie recipe with the world to get back at the cafe.

The Truth: 

This tall tale about the secret recipe for Neiman Marcus cookies is nothing but folklore.

A forwarded email that describes an apparent first-person account of a woman who was tricked into paying $250 for Neiman Marcus’s secret cookie recipe and decided to share the recipe with the world so that it wouldn’t be secret anymore. It’s not clear where the story came from, or exactly when it started, but there’s not truth to it.

In fact, there’s no such thing as the Neiman Marcus Cafe, and Neiman Marcus didn’t even have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies until it made one up in response this rumor. Neiman Marcus has posted its not-so-secret recipe for cookies online to dispel rumors that it tricks customers into paying $250 for it. In a light-hearted post on the company’s website, Neiman Marcus offers the recipe and a brief explanation:

An urban myth is a modern folk tale, its origins unknown, its believability enhanced simply by the frequency with which it is repeated. Our signature chocolate chip cookie is the subject of one such myth. If you haven’t heard the story, we won’t perpetuate it here. If you have, the recipe below should serve to refute it. Copy it, print it out, pass it along to friends and family. It’s a terrific recipe. And it’s absolutely free.

The earliest account of the “secret recipe” urban legend can be traced back to the 1930s. It was said back that then that a customer was tricked into paying $100 for the Waldorf Astoria’s secret recipe for red velvet cake. Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand has noted that the Waldorf Astoria didn’t even serve red velvet cake when the rumor started, but the hotel quickly made up a recipe and added it to the menu.