Thursday, 16 August 2012

Mooncakes 月餅

I know this is an early post but it's that time of the year when the Chinese (and other Asian countries) celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節 (jung chau jit) early with mooncakes 月餅 (yut beng)!! The festival is on every 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar... So it's actually on October 1st September 30th this year!
Loads of different mooncakes!

Majority of mooncakes on sale are from Hong Kong

What are mooncakes? Mooncakes are "cakes" made with a filling of lotus or mung bean paste wrapped in a crust. Some have one or two duck egg yolks inside or none at all. Unfortunately mooncakes are generally fatty because lard is used to make the crust and a lot of sugar is used.

There are actually many stories surrounding the origin of the mooncake, but they are used to celebrate the lunar moon. And so mooncakes are shaped into a "moon" (although mainly squared and cubed shaped) and are eaten whilst gazing at the moon.

So on my trip to Wing Yip, I bought a tin of mooncakes, which usually consists of four mooncakes and a plastic knife (I took the knife out of this picture)...
The cheapest mooncakes on sale at the moment

There are always 4 in a tin

Always read the label before you buy them!

It says 大同月餅 (the name of the company) on top 

Double yolk!

Because I don't really like the egg yolks as they are usually salty I bought myself a pig shaped mooncake filled with only lotus paste ^_^ (I still haven't eaten it yet!).
Piggy mooncake 

Last year instead of the normal mooncakes, I bought these "icy crusted" mooncakes 冰皮月餅 (bing pei yut beng). With these you put them in the freezer instead of the fridge and you eat them as if they were ice cream cakes... ^_^ These I had bought in the bakery at Wing Yip...

Icy Mooncakes ^^

I can't remember the fillings... ¬_¬

If you have never tried mooncakes before, try the ones without the duck yolk first - be careful to look at the labels first before buying. Prices range from £20 - £30+. Best time to try them out is probably after the festival because that's when the mooncakes go on sale! ^_^ They are sold in all / most Chinese supermarkets / foodstores.

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