Mooncake are not only a mandatory dish on Chinese New Year but also during the Mooncake Festival. The Chinese usually celebrate it on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar. They celebrate it to continue the tradition of offerings and honoring their ancestors in the fall. And this they have been doing by the Chinese for generations. Of course, with moon cake as the main dish.
In addition to offerings to ancestors, the celebration is also a thank you. Then, there is another story about this sweet cake. Once upon a time, there was an archer named Hou Yi. He managed to shoot nine out of ten suns that made the earth hot and dry. For this work, a goddess gave him the medicine of immortality. However, Hau Yi chose to keep it to life with his wife, Chang Er. Once, someone forced Chang Er to give him an immortality pill. Then, she took the drug to keep the message from her husband. But unexpectedly, this potion made her fly to the moon. In honor of her sacrifice, her husband made mooncake for his wife’s offerings.
Then, the people of the Yuan dynasty used mooncake as secret messengers to help the Han people overthrow the Mongol regime. They wrote the message in a way where four mooncakes were in one box. Then they cut each mooncake into four pieces. So it becomes 16 pieces. They arranged it in such away. However, there is also a version that the secret message tucked in the middle of them. It is an information call for a war of insurrection.
Mooncake are one of the must-attend dishes at the Mid-Autumn Festival. Usually, it is round or square with a diameter of about 10 cm and a thickness of 4-5 cm. The filling is solid paste or eggs covered with a thin skin of about 2-3 mm.
In addition to their round and dense shape, one of their characteristics is that they are sweet and slightly oily. While the egg yolk stuffing in it symbolizes the full moon. Usually, the skin has Chinese characters written on it. The writings include longevity, harmony, the name of the shop or maker’s family, pictures of the full moon, to rabbits. They are suitable to be eaten together with the family while drinking tea and the view of the full moon. Those who migrated returned to their hometowns to enjoy moon cakes together. Eating moon cakes also has the meaning of attaching family relationships.
Types of Mooncake Skin
Chewy: This type is the most popular everywhere throughout the world. This type of skin is the most preferred and has penetrated across continental borders. You can make it with the ingredients of thick sugar syrup, lye water, flour, and oil.
Flaky: Flaky, this type is better known as Suzhou-style mooncake. To make this dough, you only need to roll a dough consisting of oil and flour. The taste and texture are the same as puff pastry.
Tender: This skin type exists in some provinces in China and some places in Taiwan.
Assorted Flavors of Moon Cake
Beijing-style: It has detailed decoration. And it originates from Beijing and Tianjin in Northern China. The taste is sweet. The usual proportion of cake and filling for a Beijing-style mooncake is 4:6.
Hong Kong-style: it is known as snow skin mooncakes. It was first popular in Hong Kong. The crusts are not made of ice. They got this name because the color of their skin is white. And is not baked but stored in the refrigerator.
Yunnan-style (beautiful floral pattern): Two of the most famous of this style are the ham and the flower mooncake. Delicious ham filled with diced ham filling and sweet honey. And the flower type is unique because they use a filling of fresh roses or other flowers.
Cantonese-style: It has a sweet taste with various fillings. And it originates from Guangdong Province. The filling is typical with variant fillings such as lotus seed paste, melon seed paste, ham, chicken, duck, roast pork, mushrooms, and egg yolks.
Suzhou Moon Cake: It has a crispy crust. It represents the Yangtze Delta region around Shanghai. It appeared more than a thousand years ago, one of the most special variations being the crust made from layers of pastries sculpted using lots of sugar and lard.
Chaoshan-style: large size cake with pasta filling Chaoshan is a region in Guangdong located in the Southeastern part of China whose residents come from various ethnicities such as Chinese in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. They have a different crust and are bigger than other varieties. The most commonly used fillings are mung bean paste, black bean paste, and potato paste.
Ningbo-style: It originates from Zhejiang province. The taste is more likely to be salty and spicy.
Mooncake Health Benefits
High unsaturated fatty acids
Oleic Acid & Linoleic Acid to prevent Arteriosclerosis
Minerals that are useful for boosting immunity
The content of lotus seeds and red beans contain high potassium to nourish the heart and regulate blood pressure
Seeds containing Vitamin E function for anti-aging, skin rejuvenation to make hair strong and naturally black.
Even though it tastes delicious and has few health benefits, you still need to be careful about consuming it. You need to remember that mooncake contain very high sugar and oil. So, you can not consume them in excessive amounts. For one variant of roasted lotus seed paste, it is about 716 kcal. Consuming very high sugar and fat content in mooncake is not recommended by doctors. Eating too much sweet food is not good for your health, especially for people who are sick. So, watch the amount you consume, dear! Just one mooncake a day is enough!
You can consume it with hot tea. Both are a perfect combination. How? Are you interested in getting this sweet one?