Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lucky Limoges Boxes

As with many long-standing traditions, the fortune cookie does not have a clear origin.  There are various stories about where and when the charming after take-out treat got its start, but we cannot be certain of any of them.  Some things we do know is that they are not from China, they are produced by the millions today, and they always contain a fun message inside for the partaker.

With these Limoges boxes you are always guaranteed good fortune

One version of the fortune cookies story is that they were created by a Chinese immigrant in 1918.  In consideration of the poor individuals that wandered the streets around his business, Hong Kong Noodle Company, he created the treat and passed them out to them for free.  Each one contained a slip of paper with a Bible verse written on it. 

Another possible origin was the invention by a Japanese immigrant who designed the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco.  After experience much opposition from prejudice individuals, his employment was saved through the support of influential characters in the city.  As a form of thank-you, he created and passed out these cookies regularly in the Garden.

Lastly, fortune cookies may date back as far as 13th or 14th China at the time of the Mongols.  There was much uprising due to frequent invasion, so these cookies (in a earlier, more primitive form) were used to carry messages tipping off revolutionaries to planned attacks.   Story has it that this technique was effective and led to the Ming Dynasty.

Wherever they came from, fortune cookies are a fun way to end (or start) a yummy Chinese meal.  You can even order your own little Limoges boxes in take-out package form, and feel lucky even if just to own a non-perishable cookie that comes with it!

This French Porcelain Limoges comes with little chopsticks and a cookie

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