A recent thread on Chowhound identified San Francisco as the birthplace of fortune cookies. Not surprising, as those are one of those seem like one of the “ethnic” foods, like Irish coffee, cioppino, super burritos, chop suey and so on that claim this city as an origin.
Fortunately, the New York Times is on the case, with this hard-hitting, investigative piece from Wednesday. Turns out the fortune cookie did start showing up in the U.S. in San Francisco during WWII. It also seems to have originated in Japan, not China.
But plenty, and we do mean plenty of foods have their origins here in Baghdad by the Bay. Posters to the Chowhound thread mentioned classics like It’s Its, the Hangtown Fry, the Mai Tai, Crab Rangoon and a bunch more. And somebody is saying the Martini was invented in Martinez. We could read for hours, if only it was that long.
Original San Francisco Dishes/Recipes [Chowhound]
Solving a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside a Cookie [New York Times]