They are not Chinese !!!

The most amusing part of a Chinese meal for me has always been the dessert – the fortune cookie. My appetite would relish the delicacy, but my mind would be hungry to read the words of vague prophecy from the piece of paper baked inside a delicate, crisp cookie made from flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk.

 It was more of a thing to fancy than anything else, when the other day, someone asked me – How do you think are these cookies made? And to honestly admit, I was like a fool staring back. To think of it, it was a piece of paper, so nicely tucked in a baked cookie. 

 fortunecookie1.jpg   fortunecookie2.jpg

How and when does the maker, insert the fortune? Curious to know ? read on

With the “www” bud around, it sure had an answer for me at the click of a mouse:

In the case of a fortune cookie, what you are trying to create is a hard, hollow shell around a sheet of paper, so that nothing sticks to the paper and no grease transfers to it. Cooks create hard shells in several different ways. For example, taco shells are hard. So are dried noodles. So are sugar cones at an ice cream parlor. Of these three, a fortune cookie is most like a sugar cone — taco shells are deep-fried (therefore greasy) and noodles don’t taste very good dry. You may have noticed that many cookies — including ginger snaps and chocolate chip cookies — are soft when they come out of the oven but harden as they cool. The batter of a fortune cookie, made up of flour (and/or cornstarch), sugar, oil, egg, etc., has this property in spades — it acts something like a heat-sensitive plastic. Fortune cookies start out as flat, 4-inch circles when they are just out of the oven. While still hot the cookie is very flexible, so you place the fortune inside and fold it to the proper “fortune cookie shape” (fold it in half over the fortune, and then draw the tips together over a rod or plate). Once it cools, the cookie becomes hard and crunchy!

{Source: www.}


What seemed to be a Chinese tradition had a lot going on behind it:

  • Despite the conventional wisdom, they were actually invented in California.
  • There is no standard Chinese term for them. 
  • The U.S. Powerball lottery drawing of the March 30, 2005 game produced an unprecedented 110 second-place winners, all of whom picked five numbers correctly with no powerball number. all the winners received their numbers from fortune cookies made by Wonton Food Inc.
  • Also, there is a common joke involving fortune cookies that involves appending “in bed” or “with a battle axe” to the end of the fortune. (e.g. “You will solve your greatest problem [with a battle axe]”)  😉



Keen to know your fortune from the “not so Chinese” fortune cookie? Check the links below:  {To be taken seriously at your own risk. 🙂}