It’s the time of the year again, when the atria of all major shopping malls are jam packed with countless stalls hawking the same stuff. This curious occurence probably happens only twice a year – once during Chinese New Year, and the other during the Mid-autumn Festival.
|Mooncake bazaar in a shopping mall|
It’s now the latter, which takes place on the 15th day of the Eighth Lunar month. The Mid-autumn Festival is also called the Mooncake Festival, or the Lantern Festival, whichever activity you enjoy more.
Gist of the story behind the Mooncake Festival goes that a long time ago in ancient China, during the Yuan dynasty, the Monguls were overthrown by a rebellion which was planned by passing messages on strips of paper stuffed into mooncakes. That must have been a hell lot of mooncakes, so gelat! (“Gelat” is colloquial for food which people quickly get sick of eating.)
|Traditional Mooncake Rubber Stamp|
There are a few varieties of mooncakes available in the market, starting with the most old-school:
“Piglet Basket” mooncakes are pig-shaped and slotted into nifty plastic baskets. A friend told me that these are made from leftover dough from other mooncakes, thus the dry texture and slightly bitter taste 😦
|Piglet Basket Mooncake|
Traditional baked mooncakes consist of sweet lotus paste in a baked pastry skin. The gold is in the double salted egg yolks as the mooncake is sliced in two.
|Double yolk traditional mooncake from InterContinental Singapore
Photo credit: http://www.sgdessert.com
Snowskin mooncakes contain sweet filling wrapped in a thin mochi-like skin and are best enjoyed chilled. These mooncakes have evolved into a dizzying offering of flavours, including fruit, bird’s nest, ice-cream and truffle, the most famous being this from Raffles Hotel).
|Snow skinmooncake from Raffles Hotel Singapore
Photo credit: http://www.raffleshotelmooncakes.com
Mooncakes taste best when they’re taken in small bites. Slice them into silvers of 4 or 8 and enjoy them with your friends and family over a pot of Chinese Tea! Do not attempt to finish an entire one by yourself. Too gelat.
|Yummy mooncake rubber stamp