Accounts - Chinese american wafer cookie, Fortune Cookies

Chinese american wafer cookie

A tasty Chinese-American wafer cookie with a piece of paper inside with a fortune written on it. Fortune means

Some historians think that the inspiration for Fortune Cookies come from the 12th and 13th centuries when Chinese soldiers slipped rice paper messages into mooncakes to help coordinate their defense against Mongolian invaders. According to legend, the Mongolians had no taste for lotus nut paste. Because of this, the Chinese hid the message containing the date of the uprising and the instructions coordinating the uprising in the middle of their Moon Cakes (replacing the yolk with secret messages). Patriotic revolutionary, Chu Yuan Chang took on the disguise of a Taoist priest and entered occupied walled cities handing out Moon Cakes. These were the instructions to coordinate the uprising which successfully formed the basis of the Ming Dynasty.

It is also a Chinese custom when children are born for the families to send out cake rolls with a message inside announcing the birth of the child. For almost 40 years, the fortune cookies were made using chopsticks.

The messages in the first fortune cookies were simple proverbs or bits of Scripture. By the 1930s, English variations on Confucian logic crept in. Some fortune writers took an American slant, lifting bits from Poor Richard's Almanac. Today, the fortune these cookies carry can contain messages from Biblical verses, romantic messages, corporate messages, and many more.

1900s - Makota Hagiwara, a landscape architect and caretaker of the Japanese Tea Gardens from the early 1900's until the outbreak of World War II, made Fortune Cookies in Los Angeles in the early 1900s.Using a Japanese rice cookie called tsjiura sembei, he created cookies bearing thank you notes, which helped him in a dispute with the city's mayor. He displayed his creation at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition held in San Francisco. The Court of Historical Reviews and Appeals, a San Francisco mock court, ruled that San Francisco is the rightful fortune cookie capital of the world in 1983.

1920 - Another story says that a Cantonese immigrant, David Jung (a Los Angeles baker) began making cookies with thin slips of paper inside sometime around 1920. Jung handed out these cookies, which contained words of encouragement, to the poor and homeless people on the streets. He later founded the Hong Kong Noodle Company and produced cookies with fortunes inside.

1960 - Edward Louie, owner of the Lotus Fortune Cookie Company in San Francisco, invented a machine that could fold the cookies in half a lot faster. It is a matter of debate as to where in American these cookies were first.

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