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Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Today is the mid-autumn festival! Wow, so many celebrations clumped together this year!

So anyways, what better way to celebrate the mid-autumn festival, I thought, than to blog about mooncakes! Since today IS the actual holiday, mooncakes have started going on sale, so I’ve gone out and brought back several varieties of mooncakes from various locations to taste.

Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during the moon festival. However, these days, few people actually buy them for the sake of eating them. Mooncake quality have simply gone down or they have simply become untrendy…these days people usually only purchase mooncakes to give away as gifts. It is more of an obligation than anything else. Moreover, the received mooncakes are often thrown away rather than eaten, which is somewhat sad.

True, mooncakes aren’t a delicate type of food. They are heavy, dense, and not particularly healthy. They’re usually stuffed with only one filling, making them rather one dimensional in flavour. There are newer, less traditional types of mooncakes in the market that have interesting flavour variations, though. And of course there is now the increasingly popular snow skin mooncakes, which are less dense and supposedly healthier. Don’t know, but I’ll go give them a try.

Cantonese-Style Mooncakes

Cantonese-style mooncakes are the ones baked with a glossy crust and filled with a traditional filling such as red bean, wu ren (a seed, nut, and syrup mixture), or lotus seed paste.

Lotus-paste with egg yolk

The lotus-paste filling is probably the most popular flavour for traditional mooncakes. They’re supposedly the most expensive types. The above sample is from the Marriot Hotel, given to us by some business-friend. In the center is a part of an egg-yolk, which gives the confection a sweet-salty taste that may take some getting used to.

Errg I couldn’t figure out the flavour, but it isn’t one of the traditional ones

Wu ren flavoured mooncake

Well, the cake above isn’t really 100% traditional…the filling is traditional, the crust is traditional, but the size most certainly isn’t. This dinner-plate-sized concoction weighs 2kgs! Don’t know who can finish that…I didn’t get to try any because it was given away before I had the chance, but my dad said it tasted pretty good. Again, no elaboration.

Look at the size!

Suzhou-Style Mooncakes

Suzhou-style mooncakes, unlike the Cantonese ones that are usually found in supermarkets, have a flaky lard-based crust. However they usually have the same sort of traditional fillings. Here in Guangzhou they don’t tend to be as popular as the other varieties.

Taro + egg yolk filling

Snow Skin Mooncakes

Snow skin mooncakes are a fairly new variety that is very rapidly rising in popularity. In fact when I went looking for them this morning, they were the only variety in most stores that have not gone on sale because their inventories have already gone so low! Unlike the traditional mooncakes, the snow skin ones have less dense fillings (such as mung bean) and are wrapped in a thin layer of moochi. This type of mooncake usually requires refridgeration and they tend to de-shape easily so they aren’t as portable as the traditional variety.



The ones below don’t require refrigeration so you can see that their crusts look a little baked, even though they were still labeled “ice skin mooncakes.”

Green tea flavoured

Mung bean flavoured


Egg yolk flavoured

Flower-something flavoured

Can’t remember what flavour…

Other Untraditional Mooncakes

Come this time of the year every food-related enterprise comes up with some form of mooncake-like product to try and take advantage of the local Mid-Autumn mooncake-buying culture. Haagen-Daz serves up ice cream mooncakes, Starbucks produces coffee mooncakes, and ….

A while ago I tried one of Haagen-Daz’s ice cream mooncakes. They basically consisted of a block of Haagen-Daz ice cream moulded into a mooncake shape and covered with chocolate. They had two flavours on offer, macadamia nut or strawberry. I had the macadamia nut one, which at the centre had a little scoop of mango sorbet to imitate an egg yolk. Neat, I suppose. But really this mooncake wasn’t that spectacular. The chocolate coating was sooo hard that one needed a saw to slice through to the ice cream. Because I was eating at a Haagen-Daz restaurant, the mooncake was served on a plate and began melting quite fast. Alas, I had to gobble up everything at a higher speed than I would like and as a result I was unable to truly savour the ice cream. At a whooping 78RMB, I really don’t recommend you purchase a Haagen-Daz mooncake.

Vegetable juice flavoured

And lastly is this crustless mooncake that I found at C-Store listed as vegetable juice flavoured! Strange…

Well, hopefully you enjoyed this post! Now I have got a whole ton of mooncake to eat…

October 3, 2009 - Posted by | Guangzhou, Uncategorized |

1 Comment »

  1. Hgn, here, all we have are the traditional lotus paste ones. I bet you don’t miss that part of across-the-ocean-life~ xD

    So much more food variety! šŸ˜€
    You must’ve had quite a feast.

    Comment by Kyfni | October 20, 2009 | Reply

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