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Aug 26, 2013 02:55 PM

Moon Festival and mooncakes

Moon festival will be on Thursday September 19th. It's a quasi important festival for the Chinese since it celebrates the middle of autumn (8th month and 15th day).

So along with feast foods you get to eat the little mooncakes. Traditionally the filling of the mooncakes is made out of lotus paste with duck egg yolks to symbolize the moon. However for the past 20 years people were starting to change the filling to make it more interesting. Now you can get fillings made out of red bean paste, date paste, ube paste, coconut or even durian!!!

Stores have been selling them of the past couple of weeks. You can even get some crappy ones at costco. In the triangle area you can simply buy them at local Chinese supermarts such as Grand Asia, A&C and Li Ming's. I recommend the brand "Wing Wah" as they make some of the best mooncakes money can buy. I'm a purist so I go for the plain lotus paste mooncake.

Now you can even buy mooncake molds online but I prefer store bought...

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  1. This is really interesting and fun information. Any chance of getting a photo of one of the cakes? Is there anything besides eating the cakes involved in celebrating the Moon Festival? Thanks in advance.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LulusMom

      For the Vietnamese during the Moon Festival aka Tet Trung Thu usually there is a lantern parade for the kids.

    2. I like mooncakes, but the egg yolk is a bit of an acquired taste.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Low Country Jon

        Yeah the egg yolks are purely symbolic. That's why I'd only eat mooncakes without yolks.

        As far as food is concerned, mooncake is really the only festive food for the mid autumn festival.

      2. I got some for chinese new year from Silver Wok in Chapel Hill. It was the lotus paste with preserved duck egg.

        23 Replies
        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          Here's the Costco mooncake it's $12.95

          I promised my parents that I would not be buying mooncakes this year but I guess I might have to break that promise...

          If you live in the triangle area. There is this woman in Cary who makes/bakes mooncakes at her home and she does a pretty decent job...

          1. re: sierrarot328i

            Can you give more detail on the lady doing the mooncakes? What does that article in the print say?

            1. re: sierrarot328i

              I'm amused by your promise to your parents. Is there a reason you can share?

              I'm thinking the egg part might be a deal breaker for me, but I'd love to know, like bf does, what's in these mooncakes. Thanks for introducing me (us) to this.

              1. re: LulusMom

                The optional egg in the middle usually pops right out neatly if you like the rest of what's there :-). That said we normally get them without it.

                1. re: D R C

                  Thanks D R C. Where do you get yours?

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    A random assortment magically starts appearing at my MIL's house this time of year :-) (nine children originally from SE asia bring these by for the family). I expect the majority are from Grand Asia Market.

                    1. re: D R C

                      Yeah grand Asia would be the place to go...

                      I didn't buy the Costco one cuz it's awful. Wing Wah plain lotus is the one to go for. $38.99 for four colossal fatty and sugary goodness!

                      1. re: sierrarot328i

                        Wonder if any local restaurants will plan on having them ... sort of dreaming out loud here. Gourmet Kingdom or even Merlion on this end of town.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          The one that faces Tyler's restaurant in Carrboro I think has had them in the past and Silver Wok has them.

                2. re: LulusMom

                  I have had mooncakes before but I forgot I was referring to the multipack. I have both Red Bean and Lotus Paste. I don't have them right after the other and so to me they both sorta taste the same. Yesterday at Li Ming I saw Mixed Nut, Wax Gourde, Lotus, Red Bean, and Durian.

                  Also why is Wing Wah ($39) so much more expensive than ACC ($14). I've read from multiple sources that ACC is better and not as dried out but I guess it is personal preference.

                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                    Brand name? What's Acc btw?

                    Anyway for ye durian lovers, Grand Asia got a few more durian mooncakes left for $20

                    1. re: sierrarot328i

                      I was at grand Asia earlier so I couldn't spend much time typing...

                      Wing Wah has been the household name in Hong Kong for over 60 years. Quality might have been degraded a bit over the past few years due to health concerns (crisco instead of lard) but I've yet to have a dried out Wing Wah. WW mooncakes do have a short shelf life due to limited amount of preservatives. Perhaps you had one past the the expiration date.

                      Besides WW, there are couple other brands from Hong Kong as Maxims and Kay Wah. Really what's ACC?

                      1. re: sierrarot328i

                        ACC is another brand. Are there others that you suggest? Maxim if they have it? Its just that the cost is higher than I'd like to pay.

                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          Kee Wah and Maxim's are the other famous brands. They might be a tad cheaper than WW but not by much. You can also get Mooncakes from Taiwan and Macau at Grand Asia.

                          Ms. Chao's mooncakes are smaller and the lotus mooncake costs around $16 and you get to pick'em up at her house! So if don't wanna dish out $40 for mooncakes you might wanna consider Ms. Chao. Refer back to the advertisement I posted a few days ago and give her a call or shoot her an email.

                          Anyway, I unboxed and dissected a WW mooncake over the weekend...

                          1. re: sierrarot328i

                            Thanks so much for the photos. Helps me, as someone who had never heard of a mooncake before, get more of an idea of what to expect.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              I go for lotus and red bean. I'm not sure I'd ever try durian having had the fruit by itself (pulp extracted from fruit) and I'm not sure what the gourd or the mixed nut would be like.

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                I would likely go for red bean. I've had Asian red bean sweets before and loved them. Not at all sure what the lotus would taste like, but I'd be interested in trying it - but not interested enough to buy a whole cake, if you know what I mean.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  Lotus paste tastes a bit like red bean paste to me. I usually get a red bean bun and lotus bean bun at the bakery.

                                2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                  Go for Ms. Chao. She makes assorted mooncakes and you could probably specify red bean and lotus.

                                  The catch is that you'd have to go to her house in Cary to pick up.

                                  Her advertised number is 9193803384. Give her a ring!

                                  1. re: sierrarot328i

                                    Ms. Chao is wonderful! She's super sweet and she does amazing work. I recently purchased 6 assorted "beautifully done in the traditional Cantanese style" mooncakes from her for $17. I gave her one day notice and she was waiting at the door for me to pick them up. I would greatly recommend giving her a call. I will most definitely be using her services again!

                                    Apparently she makes 9 different flavors of mooncakes, along with many other delicious baked goods

              2. So the festival is over right? Does that mean that the mooncakes are now on sale?

                Btw did you know a mooncake has more calories than a Big Mac? They are still tasty.

                2 Replies