01/4Fortune Cookies: The symbol of luck and wisdom
Prepared with flour, oil, sugar and vanilla, fortune cookies are sweet and crispy cookies that consist of a small piece of paper that carries a prophecy or message. The exact origin of the fortune cookies is still not known but it is believed that they might have been made by Japanese immigrants in the United States. This time period refers to the time between the 19th and 20th century. Fortune cookies are often served as desserts in Chinese restaurants as well as the restaurants in the United States. In China fortune cookies are referred to in many terms such as “good luck cookie”, “cookie with fortune words” and “good luck biscuit etc. Fortune cookies are a bit different than regular confectionery because they are not just meant for eating but also have significance. They often symbolize luck, fate and wisdom.
02/4The messages inside them
Earlier, the usual fortune cookie consisted of a small message on a paper, which mostly was a phrase in Chinese but nowadays that can be small and positive advices and messages. Sometimes, they also consisted of some numbers that turned out to be very lucky for the people in lotteries. Some people take these messages seriously and believe that it’s a sign from the universe for them. A lot of people also try to collect these small messages if they end up relating to them. We are afraid that this sign from the universe might be a regular message printed by factories in bulk nowadays with hundreds of messages for millions of people. These messages on paper are inserted inside the cookies when baked but still warm. After the message is inserted, the cookies are closed and given their shape.
03/4Journey of Fortune Cookies
The first cookie which was very similar to a fortune cookie was seen in Japan which was larger and darker than the usual fortune cookie. These cookies were known as ‘Tsujiura senbei’ and consisted of small slips of paper inside them. Fortune cookies were also known as ‘fortune tea cakes’ till the period of World War II. Till the 20th century, fortune cookies were prepared with hands and their unique shapes were also given by hand but the industry saw a dramatic change after Shuck Yee from California invented the machine for making fortune cookies. Fortune cookies are often associated with China because of their presence as a dessert in the country as well as their restaurants all around the world but this isn’t true.
04/4How are these confectionery made?
These cookies are made by first whipping egg whites, oil, vanilla essence and sugar till they become frothy. Then the flour is added and blended well with these ingredients. Small circles are spread on a baking tray and are baked until light golden from the edges. Once baked and still hot, small handwritten messages are placed and the circles are folded into half. Then the ends of the semicircle are curled towards each other using a chopstick or a long and thin stick. The cookies are left to cool down and maintain their shape. The fortune cookies can then be eaten or packed. One of the largest manufactures of fortune cookies is Wonton Food, Inc., whose headquarters are place in New York. On an estimate, around 3 billion of fortune cookies are manufactured every year out of which the majority part of it is consumed in the United States.