Aug 23, 2014

Mid Autumn Festival aka Moon cake Festival

Mooncakes are eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival can have up to 1,000 calories per piece and most people admit that they don't even like the flavor.
malaysia Assorted Mooncakes mid autumn festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival, better known as the Moon cake Festival, is a celebratory period is eagerly anticipated by those keen to try the latest moon cake creations offered each year at this time. The festival took hold and became popular during the early Tang Dynasty in China, some 1,500 years ago. 

There was no real account on when Moon cake was started to be consumed during the mid-autumn festival, but there was a trace back to 14th century that might contribute to its origin. It was during the time when China was against the Mongol, a general had disguised himself as a Taoist priest to penetrate the besieged city and distributed moon cakes around which holds hidden message to organised with the troops outside the city, where in the end aid in its victory. 
There is also another legend, about a lady on the moon, who is an immortal goddess by the name of Chang E, who as legend foretold is the wife of the best archer in the land – Hou Yi. Hou Yi had been asked by the emperor to shoot down the 9 of the 10 suns that plagued the earth at that time, and after that was awarded with an immortality pill, which Chang E had took from him and fled to the moon where she lives until today. The people on earth will offer moon cakes to her during the Mid-autumn festival, reason to why we offer the lady of the moon was not really explained.

Back here on Earth, the full moon is represented by the salted egg yolk found in the center of many mooncakes, which have become an indispensable component of the annual festival, so much so that it's more commonly known (in Malaysia, at least) as the Moon cake Festival. Typical moon cakes will either have a flaky baked crust or a tender white unbaked crust ("snow skin" made from glutinous rice) and the fillings vary dramatically. 
Moon cake bakers introduce new varieties each year to complement the standards, and for locals, it's a great treat to try these once-a-year delicacies. As the festival takes hold each year, food blogs in Malaysia reports of new varieties that are the must-tries for the season. 
the pretty moon cake box

Among the regular kind of fillings, the popular ones, are lotus seed paste and sweet red bean paste, in versions with either one or two egg yolks, or none at all. Personally, I like my moon cake with the lotus seed paste but minus any egg yolks. Some new varieties introduced include charcoal-infused mocha milk tea, green tea, tiramisu, jade custard, and even savoury selections with chicken bits and so on. 
Moon cakes are typically pricey by local standards, ranging from RM12 to RM30 for a single moon cake. Elaborately designed, colorful boxes are always part of gifting several moon cakes at a time, and many people give them during the festive season to friends or business associates. being very flavorful, moon cakes can be sliced thinly and enjoyed with a spot of Chinese tea for a real treat.

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