Some people find them an acquired taste, others love them from the first bite…but whatever your view there’s no doubt that moon cakes are an indispensable part of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Symbolizing the reunion of the family, eating round moon cakes under the round full moon evokes feelings of longing for distant friends and relatives.
Almost every supermarket, bakery and hotel will sell moon cakes in the month leading up to Mid-Autumn Day and prices can vary from tens to hundreds (or even thousands) of RMB depending on the quality, ingredients and packaging. Starbucks and Haagen Dazs moon cakes are popular among younger Chinese for their mid-range prices and modern flavors and styles while bakeries such as Holiland sell both traditional and modern flavors at affordable prices. If you are looking to splash out on something more luxurious head to the 5 star hotels which sell beautifully packaged boxes.
For more details of Mid-Autumn Day click here…
Check out the selection of great moon cakes available at the Shangri-La Hotel Nanchang below...
Typically, moon cakes are small round pastries with rich thick fillings. Although there are many regional variations, traditional common fillings include lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste, jujube paste, salted duck egg yolk or smashed nuts. The crust of the cakes can be soft and chewy, flaky like puff pastry or tender like short crust pastry. Traditional moon cakes are quite dense and heavy so they should be eaten in small wedges accompanied by tea.
Today moon cakes are big business. Intense competition, together with the more diverse tastes of younger Chinese, has led to the development of new flavors and fillings. Early examples of this include using taro, pineapple and durian as fillings and more recently chocolate and ice-cream moon cakes have become popular.
Whatever the ingredients, the appearance of moon cakes are generally quite similar. Round or square and ranging from 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter most moon cakes have an imprint on top consisting of the Chinese characters for "longevity" or "harmony" or some other auspicious wish and imprints of the moon, Chang’e, flowers, vines, or a rabbit may surround the characters for additional decoration.