Telling Fortunes in Bite-Sized Snacks - OZY | A Modern Media Company


Because it always pays to figure out how to make a good fortune a great one.

By Bart Vandever

As a longtime consumer of Chinese food, I, like many, have come to relish that final tradition of the meal: the eating of the fortune cookie and the discovery of the (sometimes) prophetic messages within. Beyond that, I’ve often gone both deep and deeper and wondered where the cookie originated.

Yeah, yeah, we know: not China. But after some searching, the truth reveals itself. Very much like, well, a fortune from a fortune cookie (sorry). The discovery? The mystical treat has its roots right here in Los Angeles.


While the inventor has passed on, I searched long and hard to find modern-day folks who are carrying the torch of fortune cookies into the 21st century. That is precisely how I found Daria Artem of Lady Fortunes in Los Angeles, who is perfecting her brand of giant fortune cookies and producing them for a global audience.

Which is how we got a firsthand look at her family-run factory, a rundown of how her delicious concoctions and the fortunes within are made and best of all, very possibly an answer to how many fortune cookies can be eaten by Bart Vandever in one sitting.

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