Wednesday, November 22nd 2017    |   


Fortune Cookies

Sunday, March 1, 2009   |   New Rule
Fortune Cookies must contain fortunes.

I just opened up my latest fortune cookie, and like a long line of cookies before it, contained within it's crumbled cookie shell was not a fortune, not a prediction of future events, but a proverb.

Be patient - think, listen and heed signs for personal gain
Now some of these proverbs are translations from ancient Chinese wisdom, and some of them are written by hired philosophers, and some of them fall under the category of 'bad instruction', but regardless, I'm not interested in platitudes. Come to think of it, one of the last pieces of paper I pulled from a fortune cookie said: 'you are a kind person'. That's just a description for Confucius' sake.

Why can't fortune cookies deliver what they promise...in bed.
Chinese legend
Although fortune cookies are a modern invention, a legend has been developed and circulated to explain their origins. According to this legend, in the 14th century, when the Mongols ruled China, a revolutionary named Chu Yuan Chang planned an uprising against them. He used mooncakes to pass along the date of the uprising to the Chinese by replacing the yolk in the center of the mooncake with the message written on rice paper. The Mongols did not care for the yolks, so the plan went on successfully and the Ming Dynasty began. It is claimed that the Moon Festival celebrates this with the tradition of giving mooncakes with messages inside. Immigrant Chinese railroad workers, without the ingredients to make regular mooncakes, made biscuits instead. It is these biscuits that may have later inspired fortune cookies.