Friday, June 3, 2011

No Fortune for you...or UnFortunAte...

As part birthday and part graduation celebration for my sister, we went out to dinner to a local chinese restaurant, stuffed our faces, had some cake, and cracked open the fortune cookies.  Odd thing was, I didn't have one.  

Of course, I first think, "well I'm screwed I guess."  But then it switched to the epiphany that I make my own fortune, as my cookie is only as full as I can make it.  Which then lead me to look up the origins of the cookie and see if I was correct.

According to multiple sites, because we know anything we read on the internet must be true, the fortune cookie has two plausible American beginnings.  First, that it was created in 1918 by David Jung, a Chinese immigrant living in LA, and founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company. Concerned about the poor he saw wandering near his shop, he created the cookie and passed them out free on the streets. Each cookie contained a strip of paper with an inspirational Bible scripture on it, written for Jung by a Presbyterian minister.  

Another history claims that the fortune cookie was invented in San Fransisco by a Japanese immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara. Hagiwara was a gardener who designed the famous Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. An anti-Japanese mayor fired him from his job around the turn of the century, but later a new mayor reinstated him. Grateful to those who had stood by him during his period of hardship, Hagiwara created a cookie in 1914 that included a thank you note inside. He passed them out at the Japanese Tea Garden, and began serving them there regularly. In 1915, they were displayed at the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, San Francisco's world fair.

So who is the inventor? Dunno, and don't really care.  I just really like Jung's apparent kindness and compassion.  And what is up with my lack of fortune? Well, I have come across a few ideas about the meaning of not having one: 
1. I have now been given free will.
2. Because I was not given one, I must forge my own
3. I have no future.
4. Strictly a manufacturing mishap
5. I need no fortune because I am omnipotent.

Clearly, any of the above Could be true.  But I suppose we shall see what my future holds or how I create it, because I don't think if my husband can tell me what to do, an Americanize crispy folded wafer, with mechanically inserted, randomized written, paper strips can tell me what to doeither.

Read more: 
The History of the Fortune Cookie —
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