In Jennifer 8 Lee’s The Fortune Cookie Chronicles she wrote about the disputed American origins of the humble Fortune Cookie. Residents of rival west coast cities L.A and San Francisco famously went to court over it in 1983. The judge ruled in the latter’s favor. The forerunner to what we know in the States as the fortune cookie likely traces back to the Japanese senbei which is browner in color and flavored with miso and sesame according to Smithsonian.
With this in the back of my mind, I was excited to learn of the existence of the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company on Ross Alley in Chinatown, San Francisco. This narrow shop has been making the treats since 1962. As you walk in (with the other tourists) you see the workers neatly pressing out fortune cookies. The spindle holds each circular, cooked piece which is then molded and placed in a holding tray. It’s kind of neat looking and the place naturally smells great. They do charge a measly $0.50 for pictures, which isn’t too bad considering how inexpensive packs of fortune cookies are ($1 for 5). It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in Chinatown, San Francisco. Bonus points for existing on a narrow alleyway.