Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries usually eaten during the Mid-autumn Festival. It is often offered to friends and family during Mid-autumn festival gatherings while watching the moon, mooncakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy.
Usually mooncakes are round and rectangular shaped pastries with 10cm diameter and 4-5cm thick. Traditionally, it have an imprint on top of it stated the Chinese characters for "longevity" or "harmony" as well as the name of the bakery and the filling inside.
It was customary for the house wives to prepare mooncakes at home when the festival is approaching. However, nowadays very few people make it at home as the mooncakes are widely available in markets and could be easily found.
Regional Varieties of Mooncakes
The variety of mooncakes varies according to different regions and the fillings used in mooncakes depend on local culture and tradition. Some of the popular variations are:
Originate from South China's Guangdong Province. The ingredients used in the fillings are various, which reflects the Guangdong people's adventurous nature in eating.
Also called as Su-style mooncakes have appeared more than thousand years ago. Su-style becomes well-known in China because of their layers of flaky and generous allotment of sugar and lard.
It is originated from Beijing and Tianjin. It features the delicate use of sweetness, moderate allotment of skin and fillings and meticulous decoration.
Modern Flavors of mooncakes
Ice cream mooncakes
The mooncakes is made from ice cream and is popular among young people and kids.
These are the most expensive mooncakes that features a fresh and slightly salty flavour. Commonly used fillings are abalone, shark fin and dried purple seaweed.
This mooncakes is made by adding the tea to other fillings. The most popular flavour is by adding tea to lotus seed paste.
Mooncake Festival or also known as Mid-Autumn Festival is intricately linked to the legends of Chang E, the mythical Moon Goddess of Immortality. However the popularity of mooncakes has declined in recent years because it contains a lot of lard and sugar that people eat less of it especially health-conscious people. In addition, moon festival becomes more commercialized nowadays and people are focusing more on exchanging gifts instead of following the traditional celebrations.