Fortune Cookie Day - Not So Chinese
The Not-so Chinese Fortune Cookie
September 13th is Fortune Cookie Day! But the Chinese are absolutely befuddled with being given credit for the origin of fortune cookies. Even though these crisp cookie confections are most commonly associated with the end of a Chinese meal in America, and now in other countries as well, they are definitely an American tradition, and most likely originated in San Francisco. Ah, now I get it, you say, San Francisco's Chinatown, still "Chinese." But still wrong! They are most credited as coming from San Francisco's Japanese Tea Garden with root origins in Kyoto, Japan. The Japanese fortune cookies that provided the inspiration for Chinese fortune cookies are similar in idea, but very different in taste and size.
So now that we have the origin of the fortune cookie cleared up, the idea was absolutely pounced upon by the Chinese restaurant owners in San Francisco who in the early 1900s quickly popularized the tradition of a fortune in a cookie after every dinner.
You love Chinese food!
Click to Open a Cookie and Receive a Fortune
How do the fortunes get inside the cookie?
The cookies are actually round disks of dough that are folded while they are still warm. The fortunes are placed on the disk and folded inside the cookie while it's still pliable. They harden as they cool to a crisp cookie.
Photo: Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory
Fortune Cookie Wedding Favors
Fortune cookies are very popular wedding and other party favors. Gourmet fortune cookies are custom stuffed with a meaningful message for a special event.
Also popular are silver or gold fortune cookie place card holders or trinket boxes, wine charms, or even jewelry for the bridesmades.
Good Fortune Fortune Cookie Place Card Holder
Photos used with permission are credited in individual modules. Every other photo on this lens resides in original form in my personal collection.
It became a joke in our family when my daughter received the message several times running, "You love Chinese food!" and no one else got it.