The fortune cookie as we know it today – with its distinctive shape and a fortune wrapped inside – is not Chinese at all. Modern day fortune cookies first appeared in California in the early 1900’s. Tracking down who invented the cookie that no Chinese take-out or restaurant meal would be complete without is tougher. They most likely originated from cookies made by Japanese immigrants to the United States in the late 19th or early 20th century.
A fortune cookie is a crisp and sugary cookie usually made from flour, sugar, vanilla, and sesame seed oil with a piece of paper inside, a “fortune”, on which is an aphorism, or a vague prophecy. Fortune cookies are often served as a dessert in Chinese restaurants in the United States and other Western countries, but are not a tradition in China.
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