Types of Innovative Mooncake Style that You Should Know
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New Mooncake launched for Mid-Autumn Festival 2020
Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries that are traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. This indispensable delicacy comes in a round shape and has a sweet rich filling inside the dense yet tender pastry exterior. Traditional mooncakes are often made from white lotus seed paste and many of them also contain salted egg yolks. The yolks are a symbol of the full moon.
Typical mooncakes measure about 10cm in diameter and 3-4cm in thickness. Although they’re commonly eaten in China, baked mooncakes have spread to other parts of Asia as well as in western countries as a form of delicacy.
A Brief History of Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival where the Chinese appreciate, celebrate, and worship the moon. This festival that’s similar to Thanksgiving in that mooncakes are quintessential to Mid-Autumn Festival as Turkeys are to Thanksgiving. The Mid-Autumn Festival is among the four most important Chinese festivals where friends and families come together to celebrate. The mooncake is often sliced into thin wedges and accompanied by green tea.
The origin of mooncakes can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty where the emperors would offer tribute to the moon goddess using fruits and pastries. Another famous folktale about the origin of the mooncake dates back to the Yuan Dynasty when the Chinese were under the oppressive Mongol rule. Zhu Yuan Zhuang, a rebel leader, distributed mooncakes with papers inside asking the residents to kill the Mongols on the 25th day of the 8th month. The rebellion was successful and Zhu Yuan Zhuang set up the Ming Dynasty.
Gifting People Mooncakes
Nowadays, businesses and families gift their clients, colleagues, friends, and relatives with mooncakes as presents. This has led to a significant increase in the demand for high-end mooncakes. Giving people luxury mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival is a way to nurture favor.
The mooncake business has now become very lucrative that global brands like Starbucks have come up with their own varieties. These delicacies often come in exquisite packaging with each mooncake placed in its individual tin.
Different mooncake flavors
As we mentioned earlier, traditional mooncakes have a buttery exterior and are filled with lotus paste or red bean paste. There are different types of fillings depending on the flavor – different regions have different flavors. Some of the ingredients that are used to add to the sweet and savory mooncake flavours are nuts, peanut butter, sesame paste, and preserved meat e.g. salted pork. Other flavors available include:
- Champagne truffle
- Cognac truffle
- Avocado and mango
- Achia berry and chia seeds
- Assorted nuts with ham
- White lotus paste and pine nuts
- Double yolk with macadamia
In recent times, the snow skin mooncake originating from Hong Kong has also become a favorite for many. Instead of being baked, snow skin mooncakes are made from glutinous rice refrigerated. Their texture is quite similar to mocha.
The flavor that you choose ultimately depends on what you fancy – whether you go crazy for creamily pungent durian mooncakes, snow skin mooncakes, trendy lava mooncakes, Cantonese style mooncakes, or traditional baked mooncakes. All the mooncake flavors are so delicious and it can be pretty hard to decide which one to buy.
Prices and calories
It is not uncommon for luxury limited-edition mooncakes to cost more than 100 USD. A box of 8 goes for around $80 to $120.
Many entrepreneurs are also taking their businesses online allowing their customers to order Singapore mooncakes as part of a gift hamper.
Mooncakes are also quite calorie-heavy. One mooncake can have more than 800 calories. However, some of them have fewer calories as chefs always come up with different recipes to suit different needs.
Traditional mooncakes feature an imprint at the top that consists of the Chinese characters for “longevity” or “harmony.” As part of the decoration, sometimes imprints of the moon, flowers, vines, or a rabbit may be added. Rabbits are a symbol of the moon. Other details that can also be included are the type of filling inside as well as the name of the bakery. Thanks to their importance in the Mid-Autumn Festival, mooncakes have remained popular over the years. Their popularity has led to the festival being commonly referred to as the “Mooncake Festival.”