A fortune cookie is a goodwill gesture that you can offer without anyone thinking they have to give you something back. The Chinese have employed them for centuries to mark special occasions. They provide great amusement at dinner parties or birthday celebrations. You can buy them at most Asian stores around the country.
– The fortune cookie is a light pastry shell encasing a piece of paper bearing a message of wisdom – they can be a bit obscure at times, but deciphering them is what makes them fun at dinner parties or family celebrations.
– Fortune cookies are reputed to date back to the 13th century when the Mongols occupied China. They weren’t keen on the usual lotus nut paste cakes that were given out at festivities but wanted to mark the date of their invasion. The Chinese replaced the lotus nut cakes with a parcel containing the date of the uprising and everyone was happy.
– That the little happy fortune cookie bearing a good message came out of such an event is a good example of how the Chinese can turn something that’s not so good into something really special. In America, fortune cookies have even been given out in schools carrying anti-drugs messages.