Summertime Fun: Fortune Cookies and Lollipops

July 20, 2019

We’re continuing our Summertime Fun All Summer Long series with more national food celebrations! There’s so much to celebrate, sometimes foods have to share a day. Check out some fun facts about fortune cookies and lollipops as we celebrate both of these treats on July 20th.

National Fortune Cookie Day

Some claim National Fortune Cookie day is July 20th, while others claim it’s on September 13th. We say, why not celebrate these yummy little cookies on both days? Although these cookies are often associated with Chinese food, historians argue that the original fortune cookie (not the modern version) may have come from Japan. Where the fortune cookie originated has been the subject of heated debate among Chinese and Japanese immigrant populations in America. (Some claim that the modern fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by Makoto Hagiwara of Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden in 1909, while others claim that the cookie was invented in 1919 by David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company in Los Angeles.) The fight was finally brought to San Francisco’s Court of Historical Review in 1938. The judge ruled that the modern fortune cookie came from San Francisco pre-World War I, but even his ruling came under scrutiny with some claiming that the hearing favored San Francisco from the very beginning. So although the great debate of where the modern fortune cookie originated continues, one thing’s for sure: these little yummy fortune-producing cookies are worth celebrating.

National Lollipop Day

This hard candy on a stick has made its way into the hearts (and mouths!) of Americans. But where did they come from and who came up with the idea? George Smith of New Haven, Connecticut, is credited with inventing the modern lollipop in 1908. Legend has it that he named this candy on a stick after his favorite racehorse Lolly Pop, and even though lollipops were later made of hard candy, Smith’s first lollipops were actually made of soft candy! Now there are all kinds of lollipops and the word pop is associated with all kinds of treats on a stick like lollipop’s not-so-distant cousins, the cake pop and the cookie pop!