Every year when the kids start school, I always think about the Mid-Autumn Festival. That’s because I celebrated my first Mid-Autumn Fest shortly after I began a new academic year in Hong Kong 22 year ago.
So today I took the kids shopping for mooncakes. They’re not cheap, so I settled on this one box. I like the Hong Kong scene on the lower right.
But even after 20-plus years, I still haven’t mastered the art of buying mooncakes. For one, I usually pick them based on the box. There’s also the bag that comes along with each purchase. I noticed a guy outside the story with a cool, cloth mooncake bag. Here’s the one that came with my tin. It’s made from paper.
And this is the one from last year. The thing about the bag is that you can’t see them until you’re at the register and have already paid for your mooncakes.
My one criterion for the cakes themselves is that they don’t contain egg yolks. Once upon a time I didn’t eat eggs (so it came as quite a surprise to find a whole yolk inside the small cake; many mooncakes contain two or more yolks), and now I don’t buy the yolk ones because number one son doesn’t eat eggs. So today I bought white lotus seed mooncakes.
I’ve also heard that the Made in Hong Kong mooncakes are superior. Maxim’s or Mei Sum (in Cantonese) or Mei Xin (in Mandarin) is a brand I recognize from Hong Kong. Thus my choice today. But is it the best?
No matter which brand I buy, my kids love them. Three year old Martin screamed “mooncakes” when we entered the store today, which prompted the owner to hand him a bite-sized mooncake for free.
As it turned out, this little one tasted similar to larger mooncakes we bought. Here’s a look into those larger ones.
The Mid-Autumn Festival will be held on September 30th this year. If only Chinatown sold the colorful Mid-Autumn Festival lanterns!