Fortunate revolutions: a peek into the origins of the iconic oriental biscuit.
Ever wondered how the delightful bow shaped cookies with slithers of wisdom inside originated? Well, you wouldn’t be the only one.
Despite the debate about the American invention of fortune cookies, their Chinese roots are clear. As early as the 12th century the Mongols occupied China. When the people made plans in Peking to over throw the Mongol invaders, much discussion centred on how the date of the revolt could be communicated to those within the walled city without alerting the enemy.
Chinese monks hatched an ingenious plan. Under the guise of celebrating a good harvest, the monks distributed traditional ‘moon cakes’ with the date and instructions for the rebellion hidden inside them. The uprising was a great success, the Mongols were overthrown and the powerful Ming dynasty was established.
The giving of ‘moon cakes’ with uplifting messages inside has become a Chinese tradition. Chinese people will often give ‘moon cakes’ to each other on important occasions as a way of expressing good will or as a sign of thanksgiving for the fortunate revolution that brought them their freedom.