#3 Way back in 13th and 14th Centuries, China was occupied by the Mongols. Chu Yuan Chang, a patriotic revolutionary of the time made plans for an uprising against the Mongols. In order to instruct all the Chinese of the date of the uprising, messages were hidden in 'Moon Cakes'. Moon Cakes contained a 'yolk' of Lotus Paste which the Mongols did not appreciate so this yolk was replaced with rice paper messages. The uprising was successful and the Ming Dynasty was born.
Thus a tradition of giving cakes with messages was born and a Moon Festival regularly celebrated.
It is thought that this legend is what inspired the Chinese 49'ers who worked on the construction of the great American Railways through the Sierra Nevada to California. At Moon Festival time they did not have any moon cakes but only biscuits. So out of necessity they improvised and the Fortune Cookie was born.
So, while we may never know the real beginning of the Fortune Cookie, we do know the first ones were made by chopsticks. And, it was not until 1964, when Edward Louie of San Francisco's Lotus Fortune Cookie Company invented a machine to make the cookies.
Today it is rare not to finish a Chinese meal in America or Canada without the Fortune Cookie.
Whether you actually eat it or not, is not important. It's the "fortune" inside that matters.
And it matters heaps, as one company alone makes 60 million Chinese Fortune Cookies a month.