Whenever you go to a Chinese restaurant or order some take out, your meal inevitably ends with some fortune cookies. But if you’re a trivia hound, you probably know some fun facts about these treats that no one else does. Feast your eyes on these facts and impress your friends the next time you go out to dinner together!
They Weren’t Invented in China
Although fortune cookies are commonly associated with Chinese restaurants, they weren’t invented in China. A Japanese version called tsujiara senbei is the direct predecessor of the fortune cookies we enjoy today. They’re meant to bestow good luck on the person picking up and eating them. These Japanese cookies are much bigger than the ones you’re used to seeing, have the fortunes written into the surface of the cookie, and are flavored with miso instead of vanilla and sesame.
They Don’t Exist in China, Either
If you plan on traveling around China to see how the fortunes inside the cookies are any different than here in America, then you’ll be disappointed. Fortune cookies don’t exist in China, at least anymore. The fortune cookie first appeared in 1890 in a San Francisco restaurant called the Japanese Tea House. Since then, their popularity has spread, but they failed to catch on in their supposed homeland: it took almost a century for the cookies to reach China in 1989. Even then, they didn’t sell well, so today the cookies are almost impossible to find.
They’re Not Folded
Fortune cookies aren’t folded before they’re baked. They begin their journey to your table as round-shaped cookies instead. The fold bends the dough around the fortune inside.
Someone Writes Them
There is someone in charge of writing those little fortunes. The company that produces fortune cookies, Wonton Food Inc, pumps out 4.5 million of them every single day in Brooklyn, New York. Until 1995, their Vice President, Donald Lau, wrote the fortunes. But one day he got writer’s block and couldn’t think of anything new and witty to say, so the company hired a fortune writer to replace him.
If you’re careful about how many calories you’re consuming, this next bit of trivia might make you smile. Each cookie only holds 107 calories, with about a gram of fat, 1 milligram of cholesterol, 24 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of sugar.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.