Ever wonder who writes the “fortunes” you find inside the fortune cookies you get at the end of a Chinese takeout meal? I put “fortunes” in quotes because a lot of the time they aren’t really fortunes that predict the future, but merely presumptuous statements about your life — or just really obscure proverbs from legendary Chinese wise man Confucius. Usually on the back there’s a vocabulary word so you can learn Chinese in piecemeal — not that you ever remember the word anyway — followed by some lucky numbers — not that Confucius was alive to even know how big a Mega Millions lottery can get. If he had known, he might have kept those numbers to himself.
But never mind about that ancient Chinese guy. Now there’s iLL Fortune Cookies, a new type of post-Chinese food treat, because “we live in the ‘real’ world” — as stated on the box (which, of course, looks like a big Chinese takeout container). Created by the iLLFortune company based in the California Bay Area, these “fortune cookies for the brave” look and taste like ordinary fortune cookies, but inside are snarky and sarcastic sayings designed to prank your friends — or your enemies. Like ordinary fortune cookies, they don’t always predict the future, but rather state an assumption about your life — in an intentionally insulting way.
Some iLL Fortunes I’ve opened up include:
- “Your lovers fantasize about anyone but you.”
- “Within one month you will be stabbed by a clown.”
- “Don’t get on that plane.”
- “A turkey is not meant to be consumed in one sitting. Fatty.”
- “Lindsay Lohan will be calling. She wants her reputation back.”
- “Be proud of yourself. It’s not easy being a troll.”
- “Children are meant to be seen. Not leered at. Sicko.”
- ”Sleep with one eye opened. The lemurs are coming.”
- “Your liver hates you.” (How did they know?!)
As you can see, some iLL Fortunes are funnier than others; the humor of a few are completely lost with me, but I often found myself wanting to open a new cookie to see what the next one would be anyway. That’s a clever marketing strategy, if ever you could get more than one cookie at the end of a Chinese meal. As for lucky numbers, there are none on the back — there’s only a link for the company’s site, ILLFORTUNE.NET. But with these types of fortune cookies, you’re probably not going to win the lottery anyway.
Final Verdict: 4 (out of 5) stars.
At $15 for a box of about 20 cookies (although they cost less if you buy in bulk), these aren’t the cheapest cookies to buy when compared to ordinary cookies — with or without fortunes. From a calorie intake point of view, they’re about the same as a regular fortune cookie — at about 28 calories each — but it’s not like you’re going to buy these for their nutritional value (or lack thereof) anyway. What you’re paying for is the irreverence, which is worth it if you’re going to use these to prank people. Just don’t forget to serve them with slices of oranges so no one suspects a thing.
Erik Trinidad is the author of Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended, based off his popular food humor blog, fancyfastfood.com.