Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you all!
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Moon Festival or 中秋節 in Chinese. It’s a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese, dating back over 3,000 years. The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is usually around late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. The moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the moon cake, of which there are many different varieties. I personally preferred the traditional ones, with white lotus seed paste and preserved egg yolks.
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of moon cakes. Usually, they are a bit too rich and too sweet for my liking. However, since this is a much observed tradition for the Chinese, and the moon cakes are usually given to friends, families and colleagues as gifts before the festival. It’s hard not to have them in the house around this time of the year. Every year in the past, I’ll have just a piece or 2 of the moon cake when we celebrate this festival. (1 piece = 1/8 of a moon cake) Okay, okay, the most maybe 1/2 of a cake, that’s it. That total consumption is over a few days period, not all at once!
This year, I got a box of moon cakes from my Mom. Look at the tin cover, it’s an art of itself! Don't you agree?
pomelos under the moon together, along with a cup of hot tea (to cut the grease from the cakes). Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as carrying brightly lit lanterns and watch dragon dance. Too bad I didn’t have a chance to get the pomelos (one of my favorite fruit) nor the lanterns. And of course, no dragon dance here either. I did manage to cut myself a piece of the moon cake and enjoy it with a cup of hot tea though.
So, this is how a traditional moon cake looks like. This particular moon cake is with white lotus seed paste and double preserved egg yolks fillings (my favorite type and combinations). Not kidding you, the bakers managed to jam 4 yolks in one moon cake, I think that’s a bit too much though. Some other combination of fillings include but not limited to ham and nuts! Aren’t these supposed to be desserts? Oh well, that’s why I usually stick with the traditional ones. Anyway,when I cut into this moon cake, the natural oil from the yolk burst and started dripping. I was thinking wow, that’s such a nice yolk! It surely was a pleasant surprise. Then the fragrant from the white lotus seed paste and yolks filled the whole room. I couldn’t wait to take a bite (that’s so not me, remember, I don’t really like moon cakes)! Look at the inside of the moon cake! Does the preserved egg yolk look like a full moon to you? That’s the whole idea of putting a preserved egg yolk inside the moon cake, to resembling the full moon. :)