Yeah! A fortune cookie ??
Do you ever receive a fortune cookie during your Chinese New Year celebration?
There are two different versions of its history for the fortune cookie. Both are related to Asia, but the invention of fortune cookie is definitely from the Americans.
The Chinese-American inventor, in 1916, a Los Angeles noodle-maker named David Jung devised a way to put the paper messages into the baked cookies. There was a long tradition in China, dating back centuries, where secret messages were passed inside buns. So Jung’s cookies were said to have contained Confucian sayings. However, there was another source says that his fortunes were actually Bible verses he got from a minister friend.
The Japanese-American inventor, another version of the story says, in 1914, a Japanese immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara had invented the fortune cookie to say thank you to those who had stood by him when he had lost his job as the gardener at the Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park just because of his anti-Japanese feelings. He drew upon a Japanese tradition in Kyoto, where a food known as Tsujiura Senbei i.e. a Japanese cracker with a written fortune message inside it.
Which one is right?
Hmm…I don’t know. They both have the ring of truth about them respectively ?
So, just how did these two gentlemen manage to get fortunes inside their cookies? Well, the process is actually very simple and relies on the basic chemistry of a common ingredient—sugar. The batter for fortune cookies is usually composed of sugar, flour, water and eggs. When warm, the dough is flexible and can be molded into many shapes. When the baked dough cools down, the sugar hardens into a crispy, shiny cookie. Originally, bakers would mix the dough, pour it out into 3” circles, bake them, quickly place a fortune in the middle and use chopsticks to fold them into the familiar shape before they cooled.
I started to receive a fortune cookie from my Vietnamese colleagues during my 1st year of Vietnam office secondment in 2011. It was during the Tet celebration i.e. the Vietnamese equivalent Chinese New Year. From then onwards, every year I am expecting and would like to receive a fortune cookie during Chinese New Year.
You may wonder why?
Hmm…I believe in the 1st fortune message in my fortune cookie in 2011, and it continues to become accurate till now. Don’t get me wrong, I am not being superstitious, but just that if you choose to believe in something, you sure will. That’s the feeling I have for fortune cookies.
Sharing my 2016 fortune message, this year I got it from one of my Malaysian colleagues ?
“Give Thanks For Everything.” （凡事感恩）
Let’s share some of the interesting facts about the fortune cookie from my reading.
As mentioned above, the origin of fortune cookie still remains mysterious or unconfirmed.
Fortune cookies are conspicuously absent from restaurants in China. But in the Westernized version of Chinese dining, the fortune cookie treats are expected at the end of every Chinese restaurant meal, or even included in a take-out order.
More than 50% people in the America often will take the fortune cookie messages to heart. In the U.S., They will crack open the yellow crescent moon cookies that conclude their Chinese restaurant meal in the US, and then eagerly hunt for predictions, revelations, and deeper meaning. Many of the US people even save their favourites and carrying with them around in their wallet.
Some people mentioned that its origin actually came from the 19th century Kyoto, Japan. They had a very similar fortune cookie called “Tsujiura Senbei“. It is made out of sesame and miso, and its fortune message can be found tucked in the fold of the cookie.
The largest fortune cookie factory in the world is Wonton Foods Inc. which headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Wonton churns out about 4.5 million cookies a day.
You may be surprised that there is a career profession called fortune cookie writer. Donald Lau of Wonton Food Inc. was responsible for writing the cookie’s fortune messages in 2005.
Do read an interview post with Donald Lau via link,
Ha…Ha…guess what! SiennyLovesDrawing is interested too and also just applied to Wonton Food Inc. to be part of their fortune cookie writers’ team. Wish blessing luck that it will be a successful application for SiennyLovesDrawing ?
We can customise our messages or so-called custom fortune cookie for various events e.g. company promotion and advertisement, trade shows, weddings, anniversaries etc.
Fortune Cookie Day will be celebrating on 13 September 2016. To celebrate this day, go to grab a handful of fortune cookies. Or, get your fill online. E-fortune cookies are no calorie, no carb, so no diet problem ?
Ha…Ha… Never be too greedy, once a day…or if you are in better control, once a year
Let’s enjoy the fun of virtual or e-fortune cookie via link below ?
Sharing my 2016 fortune message ☺
I have always wondered how the shape of fortune cookie being folded, let’s enjoy the video link below for the folding tips, and perhaps start to homemade your own fortune cookies as festive gifts ? Welcome to engage SiennyLovesDrawing as your handmade fortune cookie writer!
Fortune cookies are a prominent part of Asian-American cuisine and have filtered into popular culture as well. People create customized fortune cookies to send funny messages to friends and family—and sometimes to even propose marriage to a loved one! They are even used in advertising campaigns for corporations. Even though popular belief says otherwise, modern fortune cookies are as American as baseball and apple pie.
Enjoy reading article by Sienny?
Write your comments below about your fortune cookie messages you get recently and share this article with your friends and family!!! 😀