Lissa at the Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park
Originally uploaded by heinemanfleck.
Back to work on the morrow, I’ll leave my weeks’ vacation with one last bit of business.
There are competing tales of the origin of the fortune cookie. Everyone agrees it was born in the United States, but beyond that its history is the product of a classic Northern California-Southern California rivalry, each claiming provenance and both sides lacking in the definitive evidence to seal the deal.
The Northern California origin myth has the cookie invented by Makota Hagiwara, who ran the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. According to this version, a racist city government kicked Hagiwara out in 1907, only to succumb to political pressure from Hagiwara’s more liberal-minded supporters. Hagiwara, the story goes, invented the cookie as a way of quietly conveying thank-you notes to his supporters.
I kind of like this version, if only for sentimental reasons. When we went to the tea garden last week, this was the fortune I received with my tea:
You and your wife will be happy in your life together.
That seems about right.