I bet you can relate to me, when I say that Chinese is my favorite type of carry out! And fortune cookies have become the face of the Chinese cuisine to me. It's the free dessert you always expect to find on the bottom of that brown take-out bag, isn't it true? And the fortune itself, that is hidden inside the fortune cookies, isn't that the most exciting part of the whole meal? Yes, indeed, those fortunes are rather vague, but still. How much do we really know about the fortune cookies? What are they made of? What was the county of origin and when were they invented?

Having done some research on this topic, I can tell you that there is a whole history behind it. That history is full of invention, rivalry, war, peace and other biggies. There are a lot of facts you might not know about the fortune cookies. Here are 13 of them that will change your whole view on this crispy, sugary cookie.

FACT #1: Fortune cookie was invented in Japan, NOT China

Aleksandr Zolotov

Shocker, right? Indeed, the historical records indicate that the original fortune cookie was invented in Japan. It has no mentioning or any association with China as the country of origin.

FACT#2: First image of a man making the cookies goes back to 1878

The first actual depiction of the fortune cookies goes back to 1878 and it's part of the Japanese literature and history. NYTimes offers this image in one of their articles. In that image, a man is sitting in the bakery and making the cookies by hand, placing them on the trey. He is prepping them up for further baking. As you can see, he has a lot more to do, but he is pretty chill about that.

FACT #3: Original cookie was made and constructed differently

As you would expect, the primordial fortune cookie was different from the one that we see today. Originally, it was made with sesame oil, it was browner and much bigger that the modern day one. It was usually served with the orange wedges too. And the fortune saying was pinched to the top of the cookie, to prevent  people from eating it unintentionally. Food safety comes first, right?

FACT#4: Fortune cookie machine wasn't invented until 1964

Until then, all fortune cookies were made by hand. According to the source, the all-mighty machine has been invented by Edward Louie, the owner of the Lotus Fortune Cookie factory in San Francisco. The first fully automated fortune cookie machine, however, was created by Young Lee in 1980 and it was called Fortune III.

FACT#5: Only 4 ingredients are used to make fortune cookies

That' right. HuffPo confirms that the main 4 ingredients are: flour, sugar, vanilla and oil. No wonder, the the cookie itself is so blend. When the cookie mix is made, it is being squirted into a patty-shaped cookies onto the hot moving tray that brings the cookies to the molding plate compressor. The cookie is being folded and the fortune is being inserted. Wham! Bam! Thank you, Ma'am.

FACT#6: There are only 15,000 unique fortunes

World's largest produces of fortune cookies, Wonton Food, has 15,000 unique fortunes in its database. You might think it's a lot if you are not sure how many of those cookies the company is producing a day. The answer might surprise you so keep on reading. 

FACT#7: Fortune cookie hits Jackpot... HARD

There is a fun history behind  the fact that many lottery winners picked lucky numbers straight from the fortune cookies they  had just consumed right before the lottery drawing. There was even a fraud investigation underway: it's not right that so many lottery winners hit the jackpot all at once and they all had used those lucky fortune cookie numbers.

FACT#8: Over 4M+  fortune cookies produced each day

According to the Boston Globe's research, over 4 million cookies are being produces each day. And each of those cookies has its own fortune tucked in inside. Annually, the number is exponentially higher. There are approximately 3 billion cookies made each year worldwide, says NYTimes. That's a fortune (pun intended).

FACT#9: You can fully customize your fortune cookie

Wonton Food allows everyone to fully customize the fortune cookie order. Not only can you generate your own fortune message, you can also pick the color of cookies and their flavor (Vanilla, Chocolate or Citrus). If needed, Kosher cookies also can be ordered.

FACT#10: Who writes these fortunes anyway?

According to Donald Lau, the ex vice president of Wonton Food, writing fortunes is a family business primarily. Mr. Lau himself has written a lot of those fortunes when he was be inspired by something silly in between the meetings or other obligations. The owners' children are the main contributors to the fortune database. They consider it to be their role in running the business of their parents. Additionally, the company has hired freelance writers to supplement the creative output.

FACT#11: Bad fortune - lost in translation?

You've provably heard people talk about the bad fortunes they found inside fortune cookies. And when I say bad, I mean embarrassing, offensive and even sinister fortunes. GuruGraffiti shares his examples. One fortune said: "You will never have to worry about the steady income". Funny? Umm, maybe. The other ones said: "Don't invest in the stock market" or "Don't leave your house today"! Pretty strange, right? Turns out, these fortunes are simply the victims of bad translation. Changing the language of the fortune, at times, distorts the meaning of the expression, making it sound so strange.

FACT# 12: Fortune cookie is a popular marketing tool

Who knew, over 500+ companies, nowadays, use fortune cookies for their marketing purposes. According to the FancyFortuneCookies, companies like Motorola, Apple, FedEx, Starbucks, Honda, AT&T, Bank of America and others, used fortune cookies as their direct marketing tool.

FACT#13: Fortune cookie is just as popular as baseball, hotdogs or apple pie

That's right! That semi-sweet, free dessert cookie is just as popular, among the Americans, as other iconic food items like willies, apple pie or pop-tarts. If you need proof, please refer to FACT#8.