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The History of Fortune Cookies

Ever wonder how those little slips of paper make it inside the fortune cookies at your favorite Chinese restaurant? Or who came up with the idea to bake a fortune into a cookie in the first place? There’s some debate, since Makoto Hagiwara and David (Tsung) Jung both served fortune cookies to the California public in the early 1900s, but in 1983 the Court of Historical Review in San Francisco ruled that Hagiwara deserved credit as the father of the fortune cookie. As for how the fortunes are inserted into today’s fortune cookies, it’s simple – while the sugary dough is still soft and pliable, a machine inserts the little paper fortunes and then quickly folds the cookie dough before it cools and hardens.

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