"Introduced by the Japanese, popularized by the Chinese, but ultimately ... consumed by Americans."
After the fortune cookies went public in America around 1914, people fell in love with the little delicacy. Fortune cookies are often served as a dessert in Chinese restaurants in the United States and some other countries, but are absent in China. The exact provenance of fortune cookies is unclear, though various immigrant groups in California claim to have popularized them in the early 20th century, basing their recipe on a traditional Japanese cracker.
|"Happiness is sometimes|
in a little cookie"
SO - HOW DO THEY GET THE FORTUNES INSIDE THE FORTUNE COOKIES?
Well, it's actually quite simple.
When done by hand by workers such as those at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company in San Fransisco, they would place the fortune paper on a round, flat, warm, quickly-baked cookie, and then fold them in such a way that it became an art form (as seen in the first video), forming them into its well-known shape. (Actually, to me they seem to appear just as good as them being made automatically!).
The secret was to fold the dough quickly before the cookie hardened. The combined ingredients in the batter - water, flour, sugar and eggs - made the cookies malleable for a few seconds.
In 1974 fortune cookie manufacturing changed forever. Edward Louie, the owner of the Lotus Fortune Cookie Company in San Francisco, invented a machine that could insert the fortune and fold the cookie. In 1980 Yong Lee created the first fully automated fortune cookie machine, called the Fortune III. Modern machines follow the same steps of handmade fortune cookies: they mix ingredients, pour batter into 3” cups which are then covered with metal plates to keep the batter flat and bake for about 3 ½ minutes. Vacuums then suck fortunes into place, use metal fingers to fold the fortune in half to trap the fortune inside, bend the cookie into shape, and cool and package the final cookie. Now fortune cookie machines like the Kitamura FCM-8006W can make up to 8,000 cookies in an hour!
Fortune cookies, while largely an American item, are occasionally seen in other countries, most often at Chinese restaurants. Fortune cookies have been distributed in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India, Brazil, Mexico, France, and Germany.