A fortune cookie is a kind of cookie that has a fortune in it. It's a common dessert in Chinese restaurants outside of China. After a meal, it would be given to you to enjoy, crispy and is not shaped like a normal cookie. It adds a touch of mystique to your dinning experience.
The cookie itself tells you nothing. After you break it in half as it is designed to, a strip of paper pre-wrapped inside appears. It's the paper that tells you your "fortune" with some kind of prophesy or wisdom.
There are normally two versions of this, one in English and the other Mandarin. You'll also find a set of numbers on the paper strip. Many people have used the numbers as their lottery numbers and claimed that they won.
Though the cookies that tell you fortune are used in almost every Chinese restaurant in the United States, it's believed that they were introduced by Japanese. The absence of it in China might be evidence that it's true. However, the fortune-telling cookies were made popular by Chinese with Chinese restaurants all over the United States, and extend its popularity to countries in North America and other continents.
"...some 3 billion fortune cookies are made each year, almost all in the United States," says an article called "Solving a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery inside a Cookie" on The New York Times by Jennifer Lee. In summary, they are "introduced by the Japanese, popularized by the Chinese, but ultimately they are consumed by Americans."
Now check out this recipe if you'd like to make the cookies yourself, or crack the following cookie to see what a fortune cookie would normally say.
Here are some funny fortune sayings.
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