The Sunday Traveler’s Rainbow Treasures

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The eagerly awaited fortunes, hidden inside the cookies made it without being broken open on the train ride home. Anticipation is everything after a trek into San Francisco’s Chinatown, a hunt and successful search for the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. My future looks pretty good.

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I had read about the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in a magazine a couple of years ago, and made a mental note of it for a future outing. The mental note got a bit fuzzy over the years and finding the factory required a few stops in local shops in Chinatown asking for its location. (Note to self: create a notebook to jot down ideas and places with addresses for future outings). The alley where the cookie factory is located, Ross Alley, is extremely more interesting than the  factory itself it turns out, but the next time I crack open a fortune cookie in a restaurant in the Bay Area,  I will know how it is made and probably where.

The factory is basically a large narrow room, and is a two cookie maker operation. I also discerned that a lot of eggs are used. The workers in the shop spoke little English, so getting details on the actual recipe, or process for the dough, was not possible.

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The woman in the previous photo is sitting right behind this woman, and are the only two making the cookies. The cookie is taken off the disc in the right of this photo, fortune installed, and cookie bent and given its classic shape over the wire sticking out by the woman’s hands. Voila! I had to suppress a giggle as I thought of that I Love Lucy show of Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory eating what they couldn’t get off the conveyor belt fast enough.

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I have no idea where the slips of papers with the fortunes came from, but I can almost visualize a man sitting in a back room with a typewriter thinking up fortunes and typing them out. Hope he doesn’t have any spells of writer’s block.

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About Angeline M

Love to travel, read, garden. I am a nurse case manager working in Disease Management. Photos of locations visited are personal file photos.
This entry was posted in A Little Bit of the Everyday, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Sunday Traveler’s Rainbow Treasures

  1. Now I know where my good fortunes come from – fun post!

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  2. A wonderful post and so fun! I have always though that those fortune cookies were made in a huge production facility, not in places like this one with only two persons making the cookies.

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    • Angeline M says:

      Going in to see this was an eye opener for me too, as I had envisioned this big factory with lots of workers. This is like a cottage industry operation. I did have fun that day. Thanks for stopping in, Otto.

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  3. bulldog says:

    Interesting post… never had one of these cookies….

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  4. Patti Kuche says:

    I suppose the adult cookies come in a brown paper bag? Who knew they even existed! Great shots Angeline!

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    • Angeline M says:

      No, I think they come in those plastic bags that say Thank You, to encourage the recipient to be grateful for the fortune they are about to receive.
      It was fun to take these quick shots, I kept worrying they were going to tell me to stop. But then there was also a sign that said 50 cents if you take a photo and I didn’t know if that was per photo, and I only had two dollars and had way exceeded the limit if that was the case. Fun, but stressful time in there 🙂

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  5. love it!! I wonder about the “adult” fortune cookie predictions!!

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    • Angeline M says:

      You know, curiosity got the cat; next time I’m in Chinatown I am going back to buy one of those packages…an inquiring mind wants to know. I, unfortunately, didn’t have enough cash to get them 🙂

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  6. Amy says:

    This small workplace, how surprise…

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  7. David says:

    Thanks for the behind-the-scenes look!

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  8. Great story and photos, Angeline. Who knew it was such a labor-intensive process?! And Adult Fortune cookies — of course, only in SFO (well, perhaps NYC too).

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    • Angeline M says:

      Thanks, Eric. One day I guess it will all be machine operated, and maybe already is somewhere else. I only had a couple of dollars cash with me (no credit cards here), so had to buy a small sample package, and couldn’t afford the adult package that I really wanted 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Fascinating! Your pictures tell a terrific story-

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  10. Dalo 2013 says:

    This is awesome, it is like you’ve peaked behind the curtain 🙂
    As a kid (and even today), getting a fortune cookie is always the great ending to any meal at a Chinese restaurant ~ and I wish I could count all the fortunes tucked away. Really enjoyed this post ~ and find the “adult fortune cookies” located in your last photo a riot…too funny. 🙂

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    • Angeline M says:

      Thanks, Randall. This was a little peak into what I thought was a much more complicated process. For me too, a meal in a Chinese restaurant is not over until I get that fortune cookie. Imagine the time my cookie was empty! Glad you enjoyed my post.

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      • Dalo 2013 says:

        An empty fortune cookie ~ that would be something else (I’d turn it into a positive, definitely!). 🙂 Cheers ~

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      • Angeline M says:

        I was a little thrown off. The waiter was supposed to bring me another cookie, but never came back to our table. Maybe my fortune would have been “you will soon meet an indifferent waiter” 🙂
        Have a good week!

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