A fortune cookie is a crisp and sugary cookie with a piece of paper inside, a “fortune,” on which is an aphorism, or a vague prophecy, typically made from flour, sugar, vanilla, and sesame seed oil. The message inside can also contain a Chinese phrase with translation and/or a list of lucky numbers used by others as lottery numbers; since very few distinct messages are printed, the lottery had an unusually large number of winners sharing a reward in the reported case where winning numbers were printed.
Fortune cookies are a common dessert in Chinese restaurants throughout the United States and other countries, but they are not Chinese. The exact history of fortune cookies is unknown, but they are credited to various immigrant groups in California in the early twentieth century. They were most likely created by Japanese immigrants to the United States in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. The Japanese version was served with tea and omitted the Chinese lucky numbers.
A cookie somewhat similar to the modern fortune cookie was produced in Kyoto, Japan, as early as the 19th century, and there is a Japanese temple custom of random fortunes called omikuji. The Japanese version of the cookie is slightly bigger, has a darker dough, and uses sesame and miso instead of vanilla and butter in the batter. They have a fortune on them, but it was wedged into the bend of the cookie rather than put inside the hollow piece. Tsujiura senbei is a type of cookie that is still sold in some parts of Japan, especially in Kanazawa, Ishikawa. It’s also available in Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine neighborhood.
When Makoto Hagiwara of Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco served the modern version of the cookie in the 1890s or early 1900s, he is said to have been the first person in the United States to do so. Benkyodo, a San Francisco bakery, created the fortune cookies.
David Jung, the founder of the Los Angeles-based Hong Kong Noodle Company, claims to have invented the cookie in 1918. In 1983, the Court of Historical Review in San Francisco tried to resolve the conflict. During the trial, a fortune cookie with the message “S.F. Judge who rules for L.A. Not Very Smart Cookie” was used as a key piece of evidence. The cookie originated with Hagiwara, according to a federal judge on the Court of Historical Review, who ruled in favor of San Francisco. The city of Los Angeles subsequently condemned the decision.
Seiichi Kito, the maker of Fugetsu-do in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, also claims to be the inventor of the cookie. Kito says that he got the idea for placing a message in a cookie from Omikuji (fortune slips) sold at Japanese temples and shrines. According to his account, he sold his cookies to Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where they were met with great enthusiasm. As a result, Kito’s biggest argument is that he is to blame for the cookie’s close links to Chinese restaurants.
Fortune cookies were once known as “fortune tea cakes” until around World War II, owing to their roots in Japanese tea cakes.
Around World War II, fortune cookies shifted from being a Japanese-American confection to being dominated by Chinese-Americans. One explanation is that this happened as a result of the Japanese American internment during WWII, which forced over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, including fortune cookie makers, into internment camps. Chinese producers were given an incentive as a result of this.
Before the early twentieth century, all fortune cookies were made by hand. The fortune cookie industry, however, changed drastically after Shuck Yee of Oakland, California invented the fortune cookie machine. The machine allowed mass production of fortune cookies, lowering their price and allowing them to become the novelty and courtesy dessert that many Americans are familiar with today after meals at most Chinese restaurants.
Fortune cookies were not invented in China, according to legend. Fortune cookies were allegedly imported and marketed as “genuine American fortune cookies” in Hong Kong in 1989. In 1992, Wonton Food attempted to expand its fortune cookie business into China, but was unsuccessful because fortune cookies were deemed “too American.”
Every year, around 3 billion fortune cookies are produced around the world, with the vast majority being consumed in the United States. Wonton Food Inc., based in Brooklyn, New York, is the largest producer of the cookies. Every day, they produce over 4.5 million fortune cookies. Baily International in the Midwest and Peking Noodle in Los Angeles are two other major manufacturers. Tsue Chong Co. in Seattle, Keefer Court Food in Minneapolis, Sunrise Fortune Cookie in Philadelphia, and Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco are among the smaller, local manufacturers. Custom fortunes are also available from a number of smaller businesses.
In 2005, authorities looked into Wonton Food Inc. after 110 Powerball lottery players won $19 million using the “lucky numbers” on the back of fortunes.
While manufacturing processes differ between plants, they all follow a similar pattern. In a wide tank, the ingredients (typically flour, sugar, vanilla, and sesame seed oil) are combined and squirted onto fast-moving trays. These are heated and function like a conveyor belt to cook the dough. To shape and cook cookies, they are compressed with round hot plates. The cookies are reshaped after baking for about one minute. They can be folded by hand or mechanically formed. A computer folds the cookie into the correct orientation with the fortune inside when it is automated. The cookies are wrapped in plastic wrappers after they have cooled and hardened, and they are then tested before being sent to be served.
Use In Marketing
Fortune cookies are occasionally used in marketing campaigns. For example, fortune cookie slips with quotes from the film’s protagonist were used to promote Kung Fu Panda 3.
The ingredients and nutritional value of cookies vary depending on the manufacturer. A single cookie contains approximately 80–130 kilojoules (20–30 kilocalories) of food energy and 5–7 g of total carbohydrates. A cookie may contain sugar ranging from 0–3 g, sodium ranging from 2–8 mg, and significant amounts of iron or protein (in relation to their size). Because of their small scale, they have a low nutritional value.
Though fortune cookies are most commonly associated with the United States, they have also been served in Chinese restaurants in Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and other countries. They are served in Peruvian chifas, which are Chinese-Peruvian hybrid restaurants.
There are also multi-cultural fortune cookie variations. For example, the “Lucky Taco,” a red taco-shaped cookie with a fortune inside, is a Mexican version of the fortune cookie. A “Lucky Cannoli,” inspired by Italian cannolis, is made by the same company that produces the Lucky Taco.
While fortune cookies are widely associated with China, they are actually Japanese in origin. The initial cookie had a darker batter, was seasoned with miso, and had sesame seeds on top.
Westerners often think of fortune cookies as a stereotype of East Asians. “I believe it has something to do with how people perceive Asians. They consider food. Since it is their only point of communication with the Asian-American culture, or knowledge of it, “Andrew Kang, a senior staff attorney at Chicago’s Asian-American Institute, agrees. In news coverage, the Asian American Journalists Association advises against associating ethnic foods with Asian Americans.
In Amy Tan’s 1989 novel The Joy Luck Club, a pair of Chinese immigrant women find work at a fortune cookie factory in America, the fortune cookie’s non-Chinese roots is humorously demonstrated. They are intrigued by the strange idea of a fortune cookie, but after many funny attempts to translate the fortunes into Chinese, they conclude that the cookies contain “evil instruction” rather than wisdom.
Fortune cookies have become a cultural phenomenon in America, inspiring a slew of items. There’s jewelry shaped like fortune cookies, a Magic 8 Ball shaped like a fortune cookie, and silver-plated fortune cookies. Fortune cookie toilet paper has become popular among university students in Italy and Greece, with words of wisdom that appear when the paper is moistened.
In the United States, there is a joke about fortune cookies that involves appending “under the sheets” or “[except] in bed” to the end of the fortune, typically resulting in a sexual innuendo or other strange messages (e.g., “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall [in bed]”). The word “in prison” is appended to the end of the fortune in a gallows humor version of this joke.
Fortune cookies appear in the American fantasy comedy film Freaky Friday, where the cookie’s fate promotes the film’s theme.
A failed writer finds success writing fortunes for fortune cookies in Allen Wheelis’ short story “The Signal,” which was first published in 1966.
- BULK FORTUNE COOKIES- Fresh and tasty fortune cookies, individually wrapped and shipped in a box to ensure minimal damage to the cookies. Quantities from 50-350, sizes for all needs and more than enough for your next big gathering!
- MADE IN AMERICA: Our cookies are freshly made in Texas and packaged in California to ensure finest ingredients without the risk of foreign contaminations. Treasure the cookies and buy American!
- FRESHEST QUALITY: Our cookies are manufactured in smaller batches to ensure that all cookies retain the absolute crisp that you remember, while maintaining its fresh quality over time.
- MULTIPLE FLAVORS: Whether your taste buds say vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or three colors, something for everyone to enjoy!
- LIGHT SNACK ON THE GO: Grab a handful for lunch, snack, dinner, party, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Chinese New Years or anything where a cookie may come in handy!
- BULK FORTUNE COOKIES- This convenient pack of 50 fortune cookies is enough for your next big gathering; These fortune cookies come with unique and pleasant fortunes, wrapped up inside classic vanilla fortune cookies in individual wrappers
- INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED FORTUNE COOKIES- These fortune cookies are each wrapped up tightly in their own plastic wrap, which helps keep these delicious cookies fresh and tasty
- AMERICAN MADE FORTUNE COOKIES- Despite their association with ethnic restaurants, fortune cookies are actually an American innovation, and these classic vanilla fortune cookies are made here in the United States as well
- VANILLA FORTUNE COOKIES- While many companies have experimented with other types of cookies, the classic golden, vanilla fortune cookie is the standard bearer for good reason; It holds its flavor and crispness well, while displaying its beautiful gold color
- QUALITY GUARANTEED- This product comes with the American Heritage Industries guarantee; If you have any questions at all about our fortune cookies, are Midwest customer service team will be here to help! And we offer a no questions asked return policy!
- Special Events: excellent gift for any occasion. Holidays, Birthdays, Parties, Wedding, Graduation, Anniversary, etc
- These traditional treats are crispy and sweet with a special message and lucky numbers hidden inside
- Taste 100% better than any other brands !
- MADE IN USA
- This is a bonus package contains 400pcs fortune cookies
- Contains 6 individually wrapped Milk Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookies
- Charming red packaging with "love" character on front
- Real fortune cookies with messages of Love inside
- Examples of the love fortunes you will find inside:
- This week will be full of romantic surprises. The strength of love lies in its reciprocity. Couples who love each other say a thousand things without talking.
- Not Safe For Work FORTUNE COOKIES- These cookies are not safe for work fortunes; They include language and descriptions that are not appropriate for anyone, but certainly not children under the age of 18
- FUNNY FORTUNE COOKIES- These cookies, while offensive, are hilarious; You will be laughing as your friends and family open these wildly offensive fortunes that will be sure to shock, offend, and amuse; The perfect fortune cookie for your next party
- LARGE PACKAGE OF MISFORTUNE COOKIES- These cookies could best be described as misfortunes; Many ridicule and offend, while all are designed ot get a laugh’ These cookies come in a convenient bulk 19 pack, with a bonus blank cookie, which can be used to designate the ultimate loser in your group
- QUALITY GUARANTEED- This product comes with the American Heritage Industries guarantee; If you have any issues at all, we will gladly refund your order; We can also setup custom orders of offensive fortunes for your office party
WowWee Lucky Fortune Blind Collectible Bracelets - 4 Pack Take-Out Box - Series 1
- Each package contains a fortune cookie shaped bracelet holder with a surprise Lucky Fortune charm bracelet and matching paper fortune. This 4-pack includes 4 cookies and 4 bracelets.
- 4 levels of rarity: Lucky, Very Lucky, Very Very Lucky, and Ultra Lucky
- 5 categories to collect: happiness, friendship, love, success, and adventure
- 100 bracelets to find, including the coveted Ultra Lucky real gold-dipped four leaf clover. Collect them all!
- The colorful fortune cookie included can be hung off your bag as a stylish keychain
- Butter Gloss: Buttery soft and silky smooth, our decadent Butter Gloss is available in a wide variety of sumptuous shades; Each glossy color delivers sheer to medium coverage that melts onto your lips
- Kissable Lips: Our best selling Butter Gloss goes on smooth and creamy and is never sticky, leaving your lips soft, supple and kissable; Try all of our delicious shades, from Angel Food Cake to Tiramisu
- Lip Products For The Perfect Pout: Doll your lips in plush, creamy, perfection; Try our complete line of lip products including lipstick, lip gloss, lip cream, lip liner and butter gloss
- Cruelty Free Cosmetics: We believe animals belong in our arms, not in a lab; All of our makeup is certified and acknowledged by PETA as a cruelty free brand; We don't test any of our products on animals
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- La Choy Fortune Cookies are the perfectly sweet, crispy ending to any meal
- A simple, delightful treat for kids of all ages, La Choy Fortune Cookies are a great low-fat snack
- When there's no time to prepare a complicated dessert, or the kids are looking for a light afternoon snack, reach for a box of La Choy Fortune Cookies
- Each La Choy Fortune Cookie is individually wrapped for freshness, and makes an easy and convenient dessert to pack in a lunchbox
- A 3 Ounce box of La Choy Fortune Cookies contains 130 calories and 2 grams of protein per serving. This pack contains 12 boxes
- The cookies are as black as the humor, but there is nothing macabre about the sweet taste. But be careful, they bite back.
- Each cookie contains a different ominous misfortune. With a diverse range of prophecies, foresee your future with brutal honesty.
- Pechkeks are vegan friendly and contain no artificial additives. But that’s where the niceties end.
- Set a celebratory mood with a dose of pessimism. A great party starter for birthdays, halloween or even weddings.
- Made with darkness and misfortune in Germany. Every cookie is individually wrapped and comes in a artistic gift box.
- Contains 300 individually wrapped cookies
- Our caramelized biscuit cookies have a unique taste, crunchy bite, and are commonly known in Europe as speculoos cookies
- Great to pair with coffee, toss in your lunchbox for a mid-day treat, or have as a gourmet snack any time of day
- Our cookies are vegan friendly, made with non-GMO ingredients, RSPO certified palm oil, no artificial flavors or colors, and no preservatives. Does not contain nuts. Made in Belgium
- Perfect for stocking up your pantry at home, or keeping on hand at the office for employee snacks
Last update 2020-04-15. Price and product availability may change.