Sunday, February 12, 2012

From The TESR Test Kitchen

We love chocolate! We like sprinkles! We like to read fortune cookies . . .

Luv Yu Bakery out of Louisville, Kentucky is convinced that people will love all three . . . combined! And for Valentine's Day no less.


They explain on the box, "Luv Yu Bakery's delicious and decadent Sprinkled Chocolate Dipped Fortunes are the perfect gift for the special person in your life, and will satisfy the sweet tooth of all ages. These treats are no longer just an after dinner treat, but are also a fun new way to say 'I love you'."

The box generously warns "CONTAINS WHEAT AND EGG." There's no warning about the taste.

Most importantly, there's no warning that there's paper inside. That might seem obvious to many -- it does to us -- but not everyone has had a fortune cookie and some might not assume that there's paper inside the cookie. If you're someone who's never had a fortune cookie,

Chinese Fortune Cookie explains that the fortune cookie is not native to China but was instead invented in Los Angeles by David Jung in 1918. Or else, they explain, it was invented in San Francisco by MaKoto Hagiwara in 1914. And maybe they were inspired by Chinese in the 13th century when they hid messages from the Mongols by inserting then in "moon cakes." The website adds, "The fortune cookie was not introduced to the Chinese until the 1990s and were amusingly advertised as 'Genuine American Fortune Cookies'." Fancy Fortune Cookie notes the same three orgin possibilities and adds one more, "In the early 1900’s a plan was hatched to transform San Francisco’s Chinatown from a ghetto into a cute tourist attraction. San Francisco’s Chinatown promised tourist a real Oriental experience. The city promoted Chinese decorations, pageantry and architecture. Supposedly, increased tourism led to the invention of the fortune cookie to fill the void of a dessert item. To fill the tourists demands for a dessert, a worker in San Francisco’s Kay Heong Noodle Factory invented a plain flat cookie in the 1930s. This plain flat cookie, while still warm, was folded around a little piece of paper on which a hand-written prediction or piece of Chinese wisdom would be found."

So the history is as much a mystery as what the strip of paper will say before you break open the fortune cookie. Each cookie contains a strip of paper such as "You will soon make a wise investment" or "You will travel with the person of your dreams" or "See a doctor, that itch isn't going away." (Just joking on the last one.)

People who don't eat fortune cookies but want their fortunes do like Debra Winger in the film Black Widow and smash the cookie (often while it's inside its own little plastic bag) and then pull out the fortune. People who eat fortune cookies have a sweet tooth. It can seem more sugary than a sugar cookie. Some eat them regardless of whether they like them or not, feeling that you have to eat them (or at least half) to get your fortune. People can also be very particular about them when they are laid on the table, insisting that if you (a co-diner) touched any of the cookies, that one is your fortune and you need to stay away from the others.

People who eat the fortune cookies generally split them in half, pull out the fortune and then eat.

If you've had a fortune cookie and liked it, will you like the Chocolate Dipped Fortune? We think so because the chocolate, while adding to the amount of sugar being consumed, tends to cut the sugary taste of the cookie somewhat. And they used a real chocolate on the cookie, they didn't scrimp and use something watered down. It has a velvety feel and taste.

When we panned BaconPOP in December, we got a few e-mails from bacon lovers who still wanted to try it and suggested we include websites when we're covering products that aren't available at your average grocery chain. You can visit the LuvYuCookie website. Please note two things. First, the information there insists there are 24 fortune cookies in each box. We had eight in our box. Second, they don't list another product: Chocolate Dipped Easter Fortune Cookies. They are already on the shelves. So if you're thinking, "I want to try these but Valentine's Day is almost over," you've got until Easter to find them in stores and we'd assume you can order online throughout the year.
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