But apparently USPS doesn’t.
The International Customs Declaration form that USPS makes you fill out renders mailing any kind of surprise package abroad difficult. Not only are you forced to declare what’s inside the package, the form is also taped to the top of your box, revealing whatever mischievous contents you so neatly wrapped up to your mailman and to the rest of the world. I was pretty determined not to let the evil customs form ruin all the fun though. Instead of “fortune cookies,” I labeled my package as “a box of crackers.” Yeah, I really patted myself on the back for that one. To my delight, my slight distortion of the truth not only tricked USPS and customs, I had managed to trick my friend as well. According to him, his first reaction after seeing the package with the attached customs form was,”Why the hell did Cat mail me a box of crackers?” Teeheehee, oh I am a wily one!
If you don’t live in San Francisco, you can order custom fortune cookies on the following websites. Warning: I have not purchased anything from any of these websites, so please order at your own risk.
- http://www.kcfortunecookiefactory.com/shop-now/custom/custom-fortune-cookies-easy-online-ordering – Personalize up to 15 messages at $0.07-$0.39 each depending on the quantity of the order (minimum order of 50 cookies).
- http://www.fancyfortunecookies.com/Personalized_Vanilla_Fortune_Cookies_p/van1020.htm – Personalize each message for $0.55 per cookie (minimum order of 50 cookies).
- http://www.orientaltrading.com/create-your-own-fortune-cookies-kit-a2-_K2142-12-1.fltr?Ntt=custom+fortune+cookie – A fortune cookie kit so you can make your own cookies from scratch in the comfort of your own home.
If you live in the super awesome city of San Francisco and want to explore and order “hand-made” fortune cookies in person at what I consider one of the city’s most fascinating hidden gems, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, then follow these instructions!
- Click here to download the fortune cookie message template.
- Fill out the Word document template with your personalized messages. Need some inspiration? I filled mine with inside jokes, hilarious quotes from movies that I watched with my friend, and ridiculous online conversations that we’ve had in the past.
- Cut the messages into individual slips along the dotted lines.
- Bring your slips to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory at 56 Ross Alley. It’s in a hidden alley in China Town.
- Watch the lady make your custom fortune cookies on the spot in front of you! 52 cookies took about 30 minutes and cost $17. I asked for my fortune cookies to be individually wrapped, which was an extra $2. I didn’t mind standing there watching the lady work the machine at all and was offered freshly made cookies to nibble on while I waited. Note that if you want to take pictures during your visit, you’ll need to pay them another 50 cents.
- Buy a cute cake box for your fortune cookies. My box was approximately 12x12x6 inches and fit all 52 cookies snugly. You should be able to buy one online for less than $3 here or in person at your local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store.
- Buy twine to secure the gift box. You should be able to buy a spool online for less than $4 here or in person at your local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store.
And you’re done!
I am pretty much fascinated by the whole process. The machine pumps out warm and flat cookies. The lady then quickly shapes the cookie with her hands and the assistance of a metal rod before it cools down and hardens.
I’m definitely adding this to the SF tour I give my friends when they come in town to visit! It’s so fun!