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What Is A Fortune Cookie?

Updated on January 29, 2012

Today was the first day of Chinese New Year at my late grandmother’s house and I had my first Fortune cookie. It has never been a tradition to have Fortune cookie during Chinese New Year all these years. I have seen it in a western movie where the customer was given a fortune cookie as the dessert in a Chinese restaurant but, never had I tried it.

Being curious, I decided to find out more about it and to my surprise, the fortune cookie is not even originated from the Chinese. This tradition does not exist in China, which country has the largest population of Chinese. Apparently the fortune cookie is from a Japanese recipe, but popularised in California by the Chinese and consumed mainly by the Americans. How ironic?

The Fortune cookie is a light crispy biscuit made from flour, oil, sugar and vanilla, shaped like a ‘Pacman’. I do apologise but I could not find a better way to describe the shape. I believe that the Fortune cookie I had today had been modified or modernised as it had orange flavour to it. I actually taste really nice, it has that crisp when you bit into it and because the texture is rather light, it kind of melt into your mouth. I came across this video from YouTube on how to make fortune cookies, apparently the recipe is easy but making is abit of a challenge.

How to make a Fortune cookie

So, why do we call it the “Fortune cookie”? The reason is pretty obvious, it is because it contains ‘Fortune’ inside the cookie. The so-called ‘Fortune’ is actually a piece of paper with a message of wisdom and good luck which consist a wide meaning. An example of a message which I got today is ‘your kindness is surely to be repaid’ and my mum’s message was ‘your everlasting patience will be rewarded sooner or later’. The moment was however spoilt when others start getting the same message, it is not that hard to put a different message in each and every fortune cookie in a pack, is it?

Do be assured however, you can never get a bad message, I guess it is suppose to be more like a form of motivation. So, whenever you down and alone, and need some motivation, you can always count on the fortune cookie.

Now I know why I have not had a fortune cookie here, Malaysia is not listed as a country where fortune cookies have been distributed in, the countries that are listed are western countries. A company did attempt to bring in fortune cookies to the China market in the 1990’s, but it was a failure as it was regarded as “too American”. I believe however this is slowly changing as it has begun to enter the other country’s market like Malaysia which has quite significant Chinese influence.

Craft Fortune cookies made from felt

I managed to find a tutorial on how to make felt fortune cookies. It is easy to make and super cute. Could be an idea for Valentine's day gift?


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    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

      interesting to learn about fortune cookies!

    • lilingz profile image

      lilingz 5 years ago from Malaysia

      U could do that :P

    • profile image

      Karasu 5 years ago

      perhaps a custom message inside a fortune cookie for the valentine? :P

    • lilingz profile image

      lilingz 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks :)

    • lilingz profile image

      lilingz 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks for dropping by :).

    • lilingz profile image

      lilingz 5 years ago from Malaysia

      I didn't make it, I just ate one.

    • pooilum profile image

      pooilum 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Wow.. didn't know you can make fortune cookies this way. Thanks !

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 5 years ago

      An interesting hub. I suspected that fortune weren't really Chinese, but i wasn't certain.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Welcome to Hubpages. Nice article