I still think they taste like cardboard

Everyone reading this is familiar with the tasteless paper-filled, paper-textured fortune cookie right? Long thought to have originated as a gimmick desert in one of California’s Chinatowns sometimes in the late 19th or early 20th century, new research strongly suggests that, despite being popularized by the Chinese, fortune cookies were actually invented by Japanese immigrants, who had gotten their inspiration from snacks sold at a Kyoto bakery. The New York Times has an excellent article detailing the whole story, which I must say I find surprisingly convincing. I think anyone else familiar with the wide range of tasteless Japanese traditional snacks (八ッ橋 anyone ? ), the Japanese love for fortunes, and of the tasteless fortune-filled “fortune cookies” distributed inevitably in American Chinese restaurants will also, upon reflection, find the resemblance highly suggestive.

9 thoughts on “I still think they taste like cardboard”

  1. Don’t you be knocking Yatsuhashi mate. The good Kyoto ones are far from flavourless, with a rich cinnamon taste. The nama ones are even better – my wife is addicted to the ones you can get with just the skin, not the filling, and every time I am in Kyoto I don’t even need to ask what she wants me to get.

    Never had a fortune cookie myself – I think they’re US only or something.

  2. And what did you say about whale meat before we went to that whale restaurant in Shibuya?
    You’re obviously no gourmet,Roy!

  3. The Japan Times published a similar piece in 2006.


  4. We all agree that fortune cookies suck but I’m going to cast another vote for yatsuhashi being great.

  5. Mr. Tibbs, that link doesn’t seem to be working for me. Think you could past the article text here?

  6. Fortune cookie is the highlight of a Chinese-American meal.
    Tasteless cardboard after a greasy meal is way better than a sugar laden ending. plus, fortune is usually concealed in inconspicuous modesty.

  7. Pingback: www.japansoc.com

Comments are closed.