A cookie similar to the modern fortune cookie originated in Kyoto, Japan. It is larger and made from different ingredients such as sesame and miso. The fortune can be found tucked in the fold rather than inside the cookie itself. It is still sold in some regions of Japan. Some claim that Makoto Hagiwara of San Francisco was the first in the US to serve the first modern version of the cookie. He did so at the Japanese Tea Garden around the turn of the century (1900) in San Francisco’s Gold Gate Park.
Others claim that David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company in LA invented the cookie in 1918. Despite a mock trial in 1983, the dispute remains unresolved..
The fortune cookie industry changed dramatically after the fortune cookie machine was invented by Shuck Yee of Oakland, California. Mass production meant a drop in price, making fortune cookies an affordable giveaway for most Chinese restaurants in the US.
Information courtesy of Wikipedia