Mooncakes: Traditional Chinese Pastries Full of Flavor
Mooncakes are one of the most famous foods found in Chinese communities around the world this time of year. You see, every year on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its fullest and brightest, Chinese and other Asian cultures celebrate The Mid-Autumn Festival. When served during Mid-Autumn Festival, sometimes referred to as the Mooncake Festival, mooncakes symbolize family reunion and the togetherness of the Chinese people. The Ultimate Kaiser is a world traveler who shares his gastronomic and travel experiences, one photo at a time, on Instagram. Be sure to follow him for amazing photos from around the world! The Ultimate kaiser considers mooncakes as a symbol of peace and unity. Delicately designed, a traditional mooncake is a dense, soft pastry filled with sweet lotus seed paste and savory salted duck egg yolk.
History of Mooncake Celebrations
When did the tradition start? The first official mention of "mooncake" was found in 1274 AD in author Wu Zi Mu's "Book of Dreams". Much later on, the first cookbook on how to prepare mooncakes was published in 1792. But the mooncake started long before, according to Chinese folklore in 619AD a Turpan businessman, offered cakes to Emperor Taizong of Tang after a victory on the 15th lunar month. While eating the cake, Taizong looked at the moon and invited it to enjoy the cake with him. He then shared the cake with his cabinet and thus the tradition of sharing the mooncake began.
Today there are many variations of Mooncakes throughout Hong Kong, China, and other world-wide Chinese communities. Although sweet lotus seed proves to still be the most popular some other popular variations include Red Bean Paste, Snow Skin, Chocolate, Green Tea, and Five Kernel and Roast Pork. Please join The Ultimate Kaiser on Instagram and Facebook as he travels the globe sharing his love of food and wine with over 354,000 followers!