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The History and Mystery of Fortune Cookies

by Pete on June 3, 2013

imagesThe Fortune Cookie is a magical treat, a dessert with profound knowledge from the ancient lands of… wait, no it isn’t. Did you know Fortune Cookies are actually and American invention? With our new topic of “Friday Fortune” posts it only makes sense to find out the secrets of the cookie of fortune. Here’s what you didn’t know…

The the cookie was based on a Japanese cracker the was popular in Kyoto called the o-mikuji.

No one knows where the idea of putting a piece of paper with a prophecy. Most believe it was started by Chinese immigrants in California in the early 1900s.

After their popularity various figure claimed to have introduced the fortune cookie to the world. The founder of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate park was reported to have served the cookie created by a San Francisco bakery, Benkyodo. The founder of the Hong Kong noodle company in Los Angeles, David Jung, also claimed to be the originator. This led to both comical and serious debates between the historical societies of San Francisco and Los Angeles on which city first produced the cookie.

The fortune cookie is known as the “American Fortune Cookie” or “America-style cookie” in Hong Kong. Go figure.

Three billion fortune cookies are made each year. Most are manufactured by Wonton Food, Inc. in Brooklyn, NY.

A common game amongst American adults is to read their cookie fortunes and follow it with the words, “in bed” to create a sexual innuendo.

Despite often being silly, many take the prophecy of the fortune very seriously. Various superstitions exist around the fortune. Some people will only eat the cookie if they like the fortune or want it to come true. Others will eat the paper itself if they want it to come true.

No matter it’s history, or the validness of the fortune itself, fortune cookies are fun and motivational.

Lucky numbers: 3, 33, 11, 24

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