CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Big Picture - Fortune Cookies – An Act Of Kindness, A Business Idea, Or A Revolutionary Weapon?

Big Picture

Fortune Cookies – An Act Of Kindness, A Business Idea, Or A Revolutionary Weapon?

What better delight after a pleasant meal than to read a message that will make your day and bring you courage? The fortune cookies that come with the Chinese meals are only used by the restaurants that serve Chinese food and have been a great success over the years. Everyone wants to ”break” their cookie and see what fate intends to remind them. Three theories support the creation of fortune cookies, and today we are going to explore them all.

David Jung was a businessman who owned a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles in 1918. David had a good heart and was sad to see that there were homeless and poor who didn’t have enough money to buy a meal. So, he decided to make this cookie with a piece of paper inside that had words from the Bible. He would leave them in various places on the streets so that people could find them randomly and read the messages. One might argue that the business owner could equally give food from his restaurant to the homeless and poor. At this point, we do not exclude this possibility; we only mention the things that certainly happened.

Another theory supports that the ”magic cookies” started again in America, particularly in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Back in 1900, there were few attractions in the place, and people wanted to turn the area into a tourist spot. There was Chinese decoration and shops, but a dessert was still missing from the restaurants. What would someone serve the clients after they were done with their meal? The brilliant cookie could be served for free as a treat from the restaurant, making customers happy. In addition, it did not cost a thing, so it seemed like a lovely idea at that point. A factory worker claimed he invented this marketing strategy, but no one is sure whether this is true.

The last theory that accompanies these cookies is the most catchy. Somewhere between the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongol Empire rose, and the Mongols captured China. The Chinese had a sweet called “lotus nut paste,” which they quite loved. It was a biscuit just like the one we know today, but in the center, they would put the yolk of the egg. On the other hand, Mongols were not so crazy about it, and they never ate this candy. This meant that Chinese people would buy, sell, exchange, trade, or whatever these unique candies that Mongols would not touch. This starts the fire for a great idea. What if they put a piece of paper writing messages instead of the egg yolk in their candy? Since the Mongols did not care for this cookie, they would not have had the chance to read the messages. The messages would include dates for revolts and would help out Chinese people to organize in order to fight the Mongols. According to some people, the uprisings then led to the rise of the Ming dynasty.

A similar idea was implemented in Ancient Greece during the Trojan War. Two areas in Greece were in significant conflict and practically war. The residents of one place came up with a plan. They created a big wooden horse and gave it as a gift to their enemies as a sign of peace to improve their relationships. Inside the horse, there were warriors hiding. Once the enemies opened their doors to welcome the friendly gesture, the warriors opened the horse and started fighting them. If you think about it, human history is full of stories like that.

It is up to us to decide which theory we would like to believe about the history of fortune cookies. A successful businessman will choose the second story, a kind-hearted person with vision will pick the first one, while another businessman who, however, is expected to have reached the top may select the last story. Whatever works for each one of us is fine; besides, we will never know the entire truth, so there is no need to worry.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Big Picture - Fortune Cookies – An Act Of Kindness, A Business Idea, Or A Revolutionary Weapon?
Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at