Fortune Cookies Were Invented In Japan

Food Fact: fortune cookies were invented in Japan, not China or America. The commonly held notion that they were invented in China typically comes from the fact that they are primarily served in Americanized Chinese restaurants. However, you will not find fortune cookies in actual Chinese restaurants, nor will you find historical records of a similar food item in China. Fortune cookies were actually invented in Japan. Researcher, Yasuko Nakamachi, encountered a fortune cookie-shaped cracker, called a Tsujiura Senbei, made by hand in a family bakery (Sohonke Hogyokudo), near a Shinto shrine outside of Kyoto, Japan. This “cracker”, not only looked like a fortune cookie, it also contained a fortune, called an “omikuji” (fortune slip), and was traditionally sold in shrines and temples. One of the earliest documented definitive references can be found in an 1878 image of an apprentice baker making these fortune cookies in a bakery. (Learn More about this fact here)

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