Nov 11, 2012

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival (Belated)

Have a sweet and savory snack to bulk up for winter

The mooncake

This year, Mid-Autumn Festival, or 中秋节, fell on September 30. It’s timing coincided with our National Day holiday — which is actually a week-long holiday kicking off on October 1 — so it felt extra festive.

Mid-Autumn Festival sounds very similar to our Thanksgiving. It’s a celebration of the harvest where you have a big meal full of fatty foods with your whole family. Instead of turkey, however, the star is the mooncake — a dense pastry that can be filled with a variety of ingredients, and often delivers the equivalent of a half-day’s worth of calories. (You are supposed to share, though.)

Earlier in the week, the school gave all the teachers a large box of mooncakes, which I chowed down on for days. They were delicious with a cup of tea. Peter did not partake, because — Surprise! — part of the filling was candied bacon. All the better … more for me!

On the afternoon of the actual holiday, we ran into some students who gave us some mini mooncakes, so that night we had a tasting party, with me on point to sniff out any meat. Flavors were as follows: bland Fig Newton; Meaty Fig Newton; sunflower and cranberry autumn delight. The last one was obviously our favorite.