Where did the fortune cookies come from? Here’s the answer

My favorite part of Chinese takeouts was always the fortune cookies. Breaking the cookie in half and reading my fortune was really fun for everyone in my family. We would read aloud our fortunes to each other. They even tasted good!

When I was young, while roaming the streets of San Francisco, my dad would point out to the Chinese restaurants and tell me that Fortune cookies were not made in China but right here in San Francisco. In those days we believe what our parents say but nowadays we take out our phones and google it.


It was indeed true. They were made in San Francisco by immigrants. Even more surprisingly, not Chinese immigrants but they were made by the Japanese immigrants. The tools to make cookies were made by the Japanese and they continued to do so until the world war 2.

After the war broke out, the Chinese took the opportunity to make the cookies and sell them at Chinese restaurants. This is why we always connect fortune cookies with Chinese food.

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