Oil on Panel by Hall Groat II
They are the highlight
meal. Funny Fortune Cookie Sayings and some not so funny, have long
been the beloved end to the typical American Chinese feast. The debate,
however, rages on as to where these delectable little sources of wisdom
It would appear that the Japanese have the advantage
in the dispute. A cookie very similar in look to the modern fortune
cookie appeared in Japan as far back as the 19th century. Instead of a
paper fortune placed in the hollow inside of the cookie, a small note
was placed in the bend of the cookie, on the outside. This type of
cookie was called tsujiura senbei (辻占煎餅?) and still found in some
regions of Japan.
Most of those claiming to have introduced this special cookie to the
United States are of Japanese original.
1983, the San Francisco "mock" Court of Historical Review ruled that
the American version of the cookie originated with Makoto Hagiwara of
Golden Gate Park's Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. The city of
Los Angeles roundly condemned the decision in favor of its native son,
David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company in Los Angeles.
Jung claimed to have invented the cookie in 1918.
claimants to the title of originator of the American version of the
cookie have subsequently thrown their hats in the ring. Though we may
never know the full story, it is true that the delectable little treats
moved from being a Japanese-American dominated confection to one
dominated by the Chinese-American community around World War II. The
situation of the internment of Japanese-Americans may have had
something to do with this occurrence.*
Regardless of the
pedigree, we can all agree on one thing. We love these tasty little
cookies and look forward to the interesting little fortunes contained
Here are a few fortunes created by our team of cookie experts.
May you enjoy them with great gusto!