The Mid-Autumn Festival is the most important celebration observed in China. This falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This means that the date for this celebration changes every year. The celebration is done by getting together as a family and gazing at the moon. Lanterns will also be lit. By tradition, the lanterns were lit by candles. In the recent years, lanterns are also made of plastic or inflatables with bulbs inside. They also have glowsticks integrated as part of the more modern tradition. The Mid-Autumn Festival also includes a popular treat which is known as the mooncake. It is a classic pastry which is salted and added with baked egg yolk in its center. However, there are many facets to learn about mooncakes.
There are mooncakes that are savory, unlike the traditional ones which are sweet. The savory ones are added with pork or honey. The traditional ones on the other hand are made from beans and lotus seeds.
Pre-baked mooncakes can be expensive even if it does not cost a lot to make. It can be time-consuming to bake them. They are often packaged in an intricate manner too. People still opt to buy them because of the tradition; that’s why bakeries often sell them in exorbitant prices. Packaging of the mooncake may include a heavy-weight wooden box, and each mooncake is individually wrapped in a metal container.
Workers in some parts of China who received mooncakes at work as gifts from their employers may also be taxed according to the value of the mooncake. It’s a good thing that anyone can make mooncakes if they want. It may be time consuming, but it is not that difficult to do. You can start by using a mooncake molding that you can buy online. You can watch a video in YouTube for the step to step process of making mooncakes.
The varieties of mooncakes exploded in number during these modern times. There are now available colors and flavors and non-traditional fillings in them. Even several food brands have their own versions of mooncakes. Haagen-Dazs has its ice cream mooncakes while Oreo also has its version of mooncakes. They replaced the lotus paste fillings with flavors of their own.
Traditionally, there are four types of mooncakes: the Suzhou-style, Beijing-style, Yunnan-style, and Guangdong-style. Here are their individual descriptions:
The Yunnan-style originated from Yunnan and Guizhou area. Its main ingredient is the Yunnan-style sausage used as filling. It has soft and loose crust.
This started in Suzhou. The highlight of this type of mooncake is its soft crust. It is sweeter compared to other types.
This originated from Guangzhou. It is known for its thin crust and its rich fillings. The fillings are mostly made from local products such as coconut shreds, orange cakes, olive seeds, salted eggs, roasted pork, Guangzhou-style sausage, and sweetened fat meat.
It claims Beijing, Tianjin, and their surrounding areas as its place of origin. It represents the northern mooncakes and is known for its delicate balance between fillings and crust. It uses a lot of sesame oil. It has a crispy crust, soft filling, and it’s not too sweet.
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