Donna Perugini Children's Author

Why Were Fortune Cookies Invented? One Simple Reason

First Fortune Cookie was Japanese-made

Two parties went to court over who was the inventor of the fortune cookie.

Were fortune cookies invented so everyone could have a ‘fortune’ ?  If that were true, my friend, Kipp at the Rock Bottom blog would be fortune-less because his cookie had no fortune in it at all….very unfortunate.

The person who invented fortune cookies did so in 1918.  David Jung was a Chinese immigrant who established the Los Angeles’s Hong Kong Noodle company.  He watched people who were waiting for their order in Chinese restaurants and noticed how bored they were.  (Fortune cookies were invented to relieve people’s boredom waiting for their Chinese food.)

This is where it gets real interesting.  He hired a Presbyterian minister to put short bible messages in the first fortune cookies.  I guess there weren’t enough people liking a scripture before their meal, so he employed the wife of one of his salesmen, Marie Raine, to become the Shakespeare of fortune cookies.  She wrote thousands of classics such as, “Your feet shall walk upon a plush carpet of contentment.”  Maybe you thought it was Confucius that they quoted!

Today’s fortune cookies are served at the end of a meal.  The reason for starting the cookies, became a fun end to a nice dinner out.  Make your own fortune cookies!  There is also a rebuttal to this story of baron Makoto Hagiwara  bringing this cookie to the United States in the 1890’s.  Taken from The Henry Holt Encyclopendia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson


What in the world do you think makes people really believe in a fortune and Lotto numbers shoved into a small cookie?

4 Responses to “Why Were Fortune Cookies Invented? One Simple Reason”

  1. 1
    Kipp says:

    Donna – I am glad you posted this. My wife researched the fortune cookie not long after my post and found the same information.

    I have always thought these messages were being produced by a wise group of senior employees near the end of the cookie assembly line. =)

    Sadly the original idea (scripture) could probably be put back in place and most folks would be non the wiser…

    Most folks are looking for answers in all the wrong places. For some reason they dismiss the one book that has what they are looking for and need.

    Thanks so much for the shout out!
    Kipp recently posted..Comfort clothesMy Profile

    • 1.1

      Looks like the one thing I forgot was a link to your blog.

      Loved how your fortune cookie episode was a total of less than ten words for your posting!

      Really nice to have you stop by.

  2. 2
    Emma says:

    oh I love it!

    • 2.1

      Very nice to meet you, Emma. I went to your site and love the chartreuse high heel with the embroidered dress just topping it! You have a great eye for photograpy which I noted in the photos you placed on your blog.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge