I stopped by the Chinese grocery store on Saturday. While I was on my way out, I suddenly saw a bunch of tin boxes near the cookies aisle. I was like OMG… MOONCAKES! I was so surprised to find the brand that I like. I’m super picky about mooncakes. I only like a very traditional Hong Kong brand called “Wing Wah”. I couldn’t help and bought a box. I love mooncakes since I was a kid. It’s a kind of food that I got to enjoy only once a year. You won’t find mooncakes any other time of the year. I got home and looked up the Chinese Lunar calendar and found out the actual date for the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival (aka the Moon Festival) is next Wed, September 22 of the Western calendar. The Moon Festival is on August 15 of the Chinese Lunar calendar.
Mooncakes are must-haves. I don’t remember exactly why it’s a tradition to have mooncakes on the Moon Festival. A full moon somehow symbolizes completeness or reunion. There was a Chinese folk story about two lovers that got separated, and they could only meet each other on the day of the Moon Festival. Romantic and yet sad. Anyway, mooncakes are very dense with sweet lotus seed paste, and each has a preserved duck egg yolk in it. The egg yolk looks like a moon. It could be a weird combination if you are trying it out for the first time. The lotus seed paste is very sweet, and the preserved duck egg yolk has a slight savory taste. There are a variety of mooncakes available these days. Some of them have one yolk, two yolks, or no yolk. Some of them are made with regular lotus seed paste, some better ones are made with white lotus seed paste. My favorite is Wing Wah’s white lotus seed paste with one yolk. Supreme! One time my Beijing coworkers gave me a no-brand mooncake. I appreciated the gesture, but the mooncake was yucky, a total waste of calories. Mooncakes are fattening. Even though I’m on diet now, I would make an exception for mooncakes since they are soooo good. The only thing is that I would only consume yummy calories. I don’t sacrifice anything other than Wing Wah. BTW, I forgot to mention that mooncakes are very expensive. A box of good mooncakes is like $40 after tax, like $10 per mooncake. But it all worth it cos it’s so good.