You may want to know

Moon cake – Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is coming soon!月饼-今年的中秋就要到了!

About Mid-Autumn Festival

The festival is intricately linked to the legends of Chang E, the mythical Moon Goddess of Immortality. According to “Li-Ji”, an ancient Chinese book recording customs and ceremonies, the Chinese Emperor should offer sacrifices to the sun in spring and the moon in autumn. The 15th day of the 8th lunar month is the day called “Mid-Autumn”. The night on the 15th of the 8th lunar month is also called “Night of the Moon”. Under the Song Dynasty (420), the day was officially declared for Mid-Autumn Festival.

About  Mooncake

Most mooncakes consist of a thin, tender skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling, and may contain one or more whole salted egg yolks in its center to symbolise the full moon. Very rarely, mooncakes are also served steamed or fried.

Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top consisting of the Chinese characters for “longevity” or “harmony”, as well as the name of the bakery and the filling inside. Imprints of the moon, the Chang’e woman on the moon, flowers, vines, or a rabbit (symbol of the moon) may surround the characters for additional decoration.

Mooncakes are considered a delicacy; production is labor-intensive and few people make them at home. Hence, most prefer to buy them from commercial outlets, which may range from smaller individual bakery shops to high-end restaurants. The price of mooncakes usually ranges from US$10 to US$50 (around £5 to £35) for a box of four, although cheaper and more expensive mooncakes can also be found.

Regional variations in China

Beijing-style mooncake:  The fillings are the mountain hawthorn and wisteria blossom flavors.

Cantonese-style:  The ingredients used for the fillings are various: lotus seed paste, melon seed paste, nuts, ham, chicken, duck, roast pork, mushrooms, egg yolks, etc.

Suzhou-style mooncake:  This style began more than a thousand years ago, and is known for its layers of flaky dough and generous allotment of sugar and lard. It is also smaller than most other regional varieties. It feature both sweet and savory types, usually filled with pork mince. Filling made from roasted black sesame, are common in flaky Suzhou-style mooncakes.

Yunnan-style mooncake: Its distinctive feature is the combination of various flours for the dough, and includes rice flour, wheat flour, buckwheat flour, and more. Most of the variations within this style are sweet.

Anhui-style mooncake: This style are smaller then others, has a soft covering.

关于中秋节

中秋节与春节、清明节、端午节是中华民族的四大传统节日。关于中秋节的起源,大致有三种:起源于古代对月的崇拜、月下歌舞觅偶的习俗,古代秋报拜土地神的遗俗。

关于月饼

古代月饼被作为祭品于中秋节所食。中秋节吃月饼的习俗于唐朝出现。北宋之时,该种饼被称为“宫饼”,在宫廷内流行,但也流传到民间,当时俗称“小饼”和“月团”。后来演变成圆形,寓意团圆美好。

月饼的种类

如今,月饼的品种已异彩纷呈。我国月饼品种繁多,按产地分有:京式月饼、广式月饼、苏式月饼、台式月饼、滇式月饼、港式月饼、潮式月饼、徽式月饼、衢式月饼、秦式月饼、甚至日式等;就口味而言,有甜味、咸味、咸甜味、麻辣味;从馅心讲,有桂花月饼、梅干月饼、五仁、豆沙、冰糖、白果、肉松、黑芝麻、火腿月饼、蛋黄月饼等;按饼皮分,则有浆皮、混糖皮、酥皮、奶油皮;从造型上又有光面与花边之分。(见上文图片)

(The content from Wikipedia and Baidu,Pictures are from Baidu.)

About Jenny liu

I am Jenny and I come from Northern China, now live in Beijing and Seattle. This site is a place where I share my favorite authentic home-cooked Chinese recipes. Just give it a try if you like what you see here! I strongly believe that food tastes better and healthier when it's homemade!

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Moon cake – Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is coming soon!月饼-今年的中秋就要到了!

  1. I am so glad you touched on the topic of moon cakes as everything here in Hong Kong this week is about Chinese Mid- Autumn Festival. I think this week I am going to do some taste testing here in Hong Kong to see what ones I like the best. My friend gave me some interesting sweet bean- Suzhou-style moon cakes this week and they are quite nice. What is your favorite kind of moon cake? Take Care, Bobbi

    Posted by Bobbi Marshall | 2011-09-04, 23:45
    • Hi Bobbi, nice to see you again here!! For my favorite moon cake, I prefer Suzhou-style because I more like the lighter flavor moon cakes! You friend brought suzhou moon cakes to you! How nice of them! I am a bit envy you now, I don’t think I can get moon cake here in Seattle. Enjoy it! I always enjoy the mid-autumn festival in China, people will bring various of moon cakes and visit their relatives and friends, young people will go their parents home to spend the festival with family, having dinner and then have moon cakes with tea and fruits at the sametime seeing the full moon…tell me if you see a full moon during the mid-autumn festival in HK. Baochi lianxi!

      Posted by Jenny liu | 2011-09-06, 23:54
  2. Hi,
    This is really interesting – great post!

    Posted by lovefoodpinny | 2011-09-07, 23:45
    • Thank you so much for your nice comment! Very glad that you are interested in Chinese culture!

      Posted by Jenny liu | 2011-09-08, 00:04

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: