The Chinese mid-lunar moon marks the Moon’s birthday and is thought to be the only night of the year once the moon looks perfectly round. In the time of the Moon Festival, particular moon-viewing parties have been held with much wine and feasting, and poems written to the moon. Moon cakes are usually packed in boxes of four cakes and are a traditional gift from one household to another.
The reason moon cakes are so significant goes back to the 14th century when China was overrun by the Mongol invaders who dominated the nation at a cruel and oppressive fashion. They added messages at the filling of the moon cakes received during the Moon Festival, conveying secret directions to patriots who may be relied on to join in the battle that ended in war and liberation.
Moon cakes aren’t easy to create, as particular, elaborately carved wooden mounds must get employed to shape them. Many Westerners find the filling made from strong lotus seed paste unpalatable, particularly with the salted egg yolk at its centre. If you can, search for moon cakes with a filling of maintained melon and melon seeds.
It’s the packaging of moon cakes which makes them tempting, typically square gold and red tins with Chinese characters and motifs printed on them, and comprising four individually wrapped cakes. For the cook that is booming, the pastry should be quite rich and rather created with at least a percentage of lard.