‘Project Fortune’ in NYC Reveals How Fortune Cookies Are Made


We skip over to the Museum of Food and Drink.


Like many creations in the history of the culinary arts (pavlova, anyone?), the origin of the humble fortune cookie is hotly contested. Although generally accepted to have been invented in California some time prior to the First World War, the gimmicky dessert has been claimed by both Chinese and Japanese immigrants to the United States. A 1983 court case failed to settle the matter, but these days most people associate fortune cookies with Western incarnations of Chinese cuisine.

At an exhibition titled CHOW: Making the Chinese American Restaurant currently on display at the Museum of Food and Drink in New York, visitors can see a fortune cookie machine in action. The machine is all metallic arms and legs pumping, pressing, printing and then pushing out the finished product. The twist here is that anyone with an internet connection can submit a fortune to be baked into a cookie for visitors to the museum to enjoy. They’re calling it, “a message in a bottle, with a cookie as the medium.”

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If you want to share your wisdom with someone on the other side of the globe, simply tweet your submission to @mofad #projectfortune or enter it on the MOFAD website. Follow the #projectfortune hashtag on Twitter to see what pearls others have cracked open.

Photography by Megan Swann, Museum of Food and Drink.

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