Add a little fun and excitement to your life by celebrating National Fortune Cookie Day. These engaging biscuits always have a suitably general clairvoyant message inside which normally promises good health, luck or fortune to the recipient. It’s always nice to get an assurance of pleasant things to come, so a Fortune Cookie or two is just the thing to provide an intriguing and delightful break in the day.
Every year, more than 3 billion fortune cookies are made and enjoyed by delighted fans. It’s time for everyone to enjoy this special celebration that is National Fortune Cookie Day!
History of National Fortune Cookie Day
Many Americans who eat at Chinese-themed restaurants in the US tend to receive a fortune cookie at the end, making them associate this tradition with Chinese culture. However, the actual origins of this delightful treat can be traced back to Kyoto, Japan in the 19th century before making their way to American culture in the 20th century.
As early as the 1870s, some Japanese sweet shops started making little crackers that were folded into shapes which allowed a message to be tucked into the bend (not into the hollow area). These original crackers would have been darker in color and made with miso and sesame, giving them less of a sweet taste than the fortune cookies of today.
The fortune cookies of today’s American-Chinese restaurants were then believed to be recreated from this idea when Japanese immigrants arrived on the scene in California and Hawaii in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Some people like to tell a story about the fortune cookie that revolves around the Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco. The legend goes that the tea garden was the first restaurant in the area to serve the cookie, which was mady by the bakery, Benkyodo.
This bakery claims to have invented the vanilla and butter mixture flavoring that has followed the cookie into the present. They also say that they invented a machine in 1911 that changed the production of the fortune cookies from being slowly shaped by hand to machine production. However, three other Los Angeles based businesses also claim the invention of the modern fortune cookie, so it might be impossible to know exactly where it really came from!
How to Celebrate National Fortune Cookie Day
There are numerous ways of marking National Fortune Cookie Day. Try out these ideas for inspiration:
Enjoy Fortune Cookies at a Restaurant
Perhaps the most obvious way to celebrate the day is to treat friends or family to a delicious Chinese meal, with the final course consisting of a plate of Fortune Cookies. It’s not necessarily a tradition that originates from China, of course, but it’s certainly a tradition of eating at American-Chinese establishments. So go ahead and enjoy it!
Surprise Friends with Fortune Cookies
Why not buy some Fortune Cookies as a pleasant surprise for colleagues or friends? Or forge a friendship with new neighbors by arriving at their doorstep with a basket full of fortune cookies, which is a delightful change of pace from the usual.
Try Making Fortune Cookies
Making fortune cookies at home can be fun not only for those who like to bake, but also for those who enjoy calligraphy and coming up with creative messages for friends and family!
The cookies can be a bit fussy to make, but the list of ingredients is fairly simple, with most recipes including egg whites, vanilla extract, cinnamon, flour, sugar and water. They’re fairly easy to bake, just work quickly to form them as they’ll tend to harden into shape within 30 seconds of being removed from the oven!
Indulge in Virtual Fortune Cookies
For those who might be watching their weight and worried about the calories in these snacks, it is always possible to go online to find virtual Fortune Cookies which will give a hint about the future destiny–without actually needing to eat the cookie!