IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
For the last month or so, it has been impossible not to notice the Mooncake madness here in Singapore!
The Mid Autumn Festival, which typically falls on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar month, is the 3rd major festival of the Chinese Calendar, (following after Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival). Also known as the Moon Festival, because at this time of year the moon is at it's highest and brightest, it will be celebrated this year on the 19th September. The build up to this Festival, has been a flurry of Mooncakes for sale everywhere.
Mooncakes are the special celebratory food of the Mid Autumn Festival!
Traditionally round to symbolize the moon, moon gazing and also the reunion of family; today these Mooncakes are customarily given to family and friends as gifts. These pastries have a rich thick filling of red bean paste, lotus seed paste together sometimes with a salted egg (again to symbolize the moon). Although modern day cakes can now contain any number of different flavored fillings, all in all though, these little cakes pack a hefty punch. A 10cm (3.9") cake can contain approximately 1,000 calories!!! Yikes!
I think the thing I liked the best was the packaging. There were some gorgeous boxes, certainly lovely things to give as gifts. Unfortunately, they come at a price.
Even Starbucks gets in on the act. They offer 3 flavors of Mooncakes, Traditional White Lotus Paste with Egg Yolk, Coffee White Lotus Paste with Almond, and Green Tea White Lotus Paste with Black Sesame and Almond.
A box of 8 Starbucks Mooncakes would set you back S$43.80. You could buy the individual cakes for just under S$5 - I admit to trying the Coffee one - it was really very good.
Takashimaya, the big store on Orchard Road, also had a Mooncake Expo in their basement area. Many of the same vendors as at Vivo. I happened to be there on the last day of sales for Mooncakes (19th September). It was very busy, some stalls were offering buy one, get one free. By far the busiest stall was that belonging to the Goodwood Park Hotel. So many people clambering for their Mooncakes!
Of course the prices at the Tai Tong Cake Shop are in a whole different bracket, a bit less expensive. These shops seemed to do a roaring trade. Obviously people buy the cakes for themselves, to enjoy with a cup of tea.
I also got to visit another old traditional bakery, Tan Hock Seng on Telok Ayer Street. Here the packaging was very basic, but the prices were good and we were assured by our guide that they were excellent. Not sure about the wife cake lol!
Together with Mooncakes, the Mid Autumn Festival here in Singapore, is also about Lanterns and Pomelo. China Town has been all decked out with lanterns giving it a wonderful festive feel.
Pomelo fruit is also a popular item for giving and eating during the festival. They are round (like the moon) and Autumn is when they are in season. China Town was full of stalls selling different varieties of Pomelo fruit.
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