Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Published November 15, 2022 by with 0 comment

The Surprising History of the Fortune Cookie

Did you know that the fortune cookie, a staple of Chinese restaurants in the United States, was actually invented in California? The history of the fortune cookie is a fascinating one that most people are not aware of.

The fortune cookie was invented in the early 1900s by Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese immigrant who was working as a landscape architect in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Hagiwara was also responsible for creating the Japanese Tea Garden in the park, which is still a popular attraction today.

The first fortune cookies were actually Japanese senbei crackers, which Hagiwara began serving to his tea garden guests. However, Hagiwara wanted to add a special touch to the crackers, so he began inserting fortune slips into them. These fortune slips were inspired by the omikuji fortunes that are found in Japanese Shinto shrines.

In the 1920s, the fortune cookie started to become more popular outside of the Japanese Tea Garden. Chinese restaurants in the San Francisco area began serving them to their customers, and the tradition soon spread throughout the United States.

Despite their popularity, the fortune cookie was not widely known in China until the 1990s. In fact, many Chinese people who visit the United States are surprised to see fortune cookies served in Chinese restaurants.

Today, fortune cookies are a beloved part of American culture. They are often served as dessert in Chinese restaurants, and they have even made appearances in popular movies and TV shows. However, the history of the fortune cookie is a reminder that the origins of our favorite foods and traditions are not always what we expect.

Next time you crack open a fortune cookie, take a moment to appreciate the unique history behind this beloved treat. Who knows, maybe your fortune will even give you a clue about the surprising history of the fortune cookie!



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