Ah yes, those Chinese Fortune Cookies…or are they Japanese?

July 20th is National Fortune Cookie Day, yummy! Who hasn’t eaten at a Chinese Restaurant, or picked up some take-out, without looking forward to that delectable treat filled with words of wisdom–the fortune cookie? Could it be these strange configurations we have grown to know and love are not what we think?

But first, in case you missed my February 1st Chinese New Year blog you may want to read this short NPR article: Veteran who won $4 Million got numbers from a fortune cookie!

Now about those fortune cookies:

“While many Americans associate these fortune cookies with Chinese restaurants—and by extension, Chinese culture—they are actually more readily traceable to 19th-century Japan and 20th-century America.”

History.com, The surprising origins of the fortune cookie, by Michael Lee

Yeah. The truth be told they originated in Japan, not China, and the original cookies were not shaped in the same design we now know today. The first ones introduced in America (Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA) were miso and sesame flavored crackers. Then, with the relocation and internment of Japanese Americans in the 1940s (Executive Order 9066), many Japanese establishments closed and Chinese entrepreneurs picked up production of the fortune cookie. Read all about it here: https://www.history.com/news/fortune-cookies-invented-chinese-japanese.

So besides picking up some Chinese take-out and enjoying a bit of fortune cookie-therapy in celebration of Fortune Cookie Day, the site Nationaldaycalendar.com recommends the following:

  • Try making your own fortune cookies. Here’s a tasty homemade fortune cookie recipe for you to try.
  • Make origami paper fortune cookies. Yes, we found a link for that, too.
  • We know you save your favorite fortunes. Please share them with us.
  • While you’re sharing, take a turn at writing a fortune. If you’re making fortune cookies, you’re going to need to practice this (I wrote one, below!)
Wow! Guess you better sign up if you haven’t already.

Finally, here’s a NOVEL IDEA for your next celebration! Hawaiiancandy.com will place your personalize message inside fortune cookies for an additional fee of only $25 (how cool is that!) However, it is only available with the purchase of 500 small cookies ($350) or 100 larger ones ($750). Still, what a wonderful idea to finish your event with a bang and leave folks a message they will remember. And another pleasant thought–someone will have to finish those leftover cookies.

“Remember fortune calls at the smiling gate”

Charlie Chan Carries On, 1930, Chapter 23

One thought on “Ah yes, those Chinese Fortune Cookies…or are they Japanese?

  1. Aloha, bueno Dias from Cozumel, Mexico. No I will not be making Chinese cookies any time soon. Big hugs 🤗. Y

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

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