Happy National Fortune Cookie Day!
You’ll find fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants here in the United States, but not in other places. Certainly not in China.
Where the fortune cookie started is unclear but claims of its origin ended up going to court in 1983. Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco and Hong Kong Noodle Company in Los Angeles both claimed they invented the cookie. A judge ruled in favor of the Japanese Tea Garden. A Japanese immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara, who worked at the garden, is believed to have served fortune cookies to guests as early as the 1890s.
Fortune cookies are made of simple ingredients: flour, sugar, vanilla and sesame seed oil.
The largest manufacturer is Wonton Food, Inc., in Brooklyn, New York. The company makes millions of cookies each day. In addition to vanilla, they come in chocolate and citrus flavors. According to the company’s website, the cookies, as well as their noodles, wrappers and other products, are kosher.
The company won’t reveal how they insert the papers in the cookies. A common practice in the United States is to read your fortune and at the end of the sentence add the words “in bed,” which makes for interesting reading.