In the United States, many people think fortune cookies are a Chinese invention. That is because they are served in nearly every Chinese restaurant from New York City to New Mexico. However, they actually originated in the 19th century in Kyoto, Japan. There, chefs would slip a tiny slip of paper into the bend of the cookie, containing a random prediction of things to come.
Somewhere around the turn of the 20th century, fortune cookies were introduced to the US. Makoto Hagiwara of the Japanese Tea Garden restaurant in San Francisco is widely believed to have been the first to offer them to his customers. The idea was a big hit, and today these treats have even made the jump to the big screen. In the hit film, Freaky Friday, a mother and daughter switch bodies due to an enchanted fortune cookie. The next time you head out for a meal, do not skip dessert. It just might tell you what's coming around the corner.