Wednesday, May 23
The Fortune Cookie: Food Delivery Staple born in San Fran!
Who could go to a Chinese restaurant, or order Chinese restaurant delivery (https://rotr.com/menu/Northern-California/San-Francisco/94111/352/Unicorn-Pan-Asian---SF/4481/), without expecting that hard little cookie with the fortune inside to come along with it? But while these traditional desserts are tasty (and entertaining!) many are under the mistaken belief that fortune cookies originated in China. In fact, it was in San Francisco that this iconic cookie was really born.
Before anyone was thinking about including the hard cookie in with their Chinese food delivery (https://rotr.com/menu/Northern-California/San-Francisco/94111/352/Siam-Saigon/5020/)orders, back when San Francisco was first being built, Chinese workers were the ones doing most of the building. Unfortunately, these Chinese people were held in isolation camps, trying desperately to keep any remembrance of home that they could. Moon cakes were one of those things. Moon cakes are a bit bigger and darker than fortune cookies, but the concoction of flour, sugar, vanilla, and oil was the closest they could get. Although it is these Chinese people that came up with the concept, it wasn’t until the 1890s that they started being sold publicly.
That was when Makoto Hagiwara of Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden first started selling them, and was the first person in the United States to do so. While he didn’t offer office catering (https://rotr.com/) at the time, he did allow the San Francisco bakery, Benkyodo, to start creating and selling them. Early in the 20th century, the first fortune cookie machine for mass production was created by Shuck Yee from Oakland, California. Before that time, every fortune cookie made in the U.S. was made by hand.
Keywords: restaurant delivery, food delivery, office catering