Interesting, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter how crazy our day has been, cracking open a fortune cookie and reading the tiny slip of paper inside brings back childhood jubilee. While this crunchy dessert is tasty, there is a lot of mystery surrounding the origin of the fortune cookie.

One legend says the fortune cookie was invented to inspire the poor in California. Another recalls California railroad workers that tucked notes into biscuits to celebrate the Moon Festival. But the most widely held belief is that fortune cookies were invented in 1878 in Kyoto, Japan. Here, street vendors grilled a savory, flat dough made with miso paste and folded it into the traditional fortune cookie shape. After, they tucked a handwritten paper fortune inside.

This Japanese cookie, called tsujiura senbei, was sold for good luck. These fortune-filled treats eventually made their way to Japanese restaurants in California. They became popular in California’s Chinese restaurants after World War II. But did you know? These lightly sweet treats are not prevalent in China. In fact, many areas of China are completely unfamiliar with the after-dinner tradition. Regardless of where and why fortune cookies came to be, one accepted truth is thisfortune cookies have become a popular American staple. So popular in fact, that 3 billion cookies are now produced each year. That’s a lot of cookiesand a lot of fortunes.

So what is the significance of the cookie and the paper tucked inside? Some believe the fortune symbolizes luck, wisdom and trust in the unknown. Others simply view them as a fun treat. Whether you believe in their symbolism or just like to play your lucky numbers, the best part of the cookie is the fortune hiding inside. After all, the invisible is more powerful than the visible, even when it comes inside a cookie.

While you may not change your life for a fortune, a good one sometimes comes along that feels perfectly crafted, just for you.

-No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

-It is up to you to create your own adventure.

-Life is a series of choices. Today, yours are good ones.

-Your road ahead is made smooth by good friends.

-Beauty surrounds you because you create it.

-The principle business of life is to enjoy it.

And there it is, a fortune with wisdom. That invisible message that was hiding inside a cookie just waiting for someone to reveal it. Because the principle business of life truly is enjoyment. Seek out your own happiness. Be present in every moment and find the good in all of it. It’s amazing what we can learn by snacking on a fortune cookie.

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Food, TCM
3 Responses to The Good Fortune of a Fortune
  1. Comment *Driving to the vet today, a flock of geese flew over the road in front of me, they slowly circled round again and flew back in front of my car very closely down low in front, looking at me!! I slowed down to take in this wonder, Oh ok Im going 50 mph in a 40 zone Gotcha !!

  2. Comment *While reading a work of fiction about magical beings and events and feeling a sense of inaction, I read these words: “No one’s path stops midlife. It must continue toward its end.”

  3. I have a few on my refrigerator!

    • True Love is a certain urge striving to fly up to the divine beauty.
    • You are very expressive in word, act and feeling.
    • The only certainty is that nothing is certain.
    • You are gifted in many ways.
    • A smile is the best accessory.


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