|Kake (kake) wrote,|
@ 2010-09-17 12:05 am UTC
|Entry tags:||chinese menu, chinese menu: dishes, food: chinese food, three weeks for dreamwidth|
Next Wednesday is the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival. So even though it doesn't generally appear on actual Chinese menus, there's only one food item I could possibly pick for today's post — the mooncake (月餅/yuè bǐng).
As noted earlier this week, 餅 (bǐng) refers to a (usually) disc-shaped cake, biscuit, or pastry, and may appear on menus in a number of contexts. 月 (yuè) means "moon" or "month", and I've never seen it on a menu.
Mooncakes are pretty much the heaviest kind of cake/pastry that I've ever encountered — I don't think I've ever seen anyone eat a whole one, not even bob. Wikipedia states that they're "usually eaten in small wedges", while Carl Chu at When In Roam jokes that mooncakes given as gifts are then swiftly regifted over and over again "like a game of musical chairs [...] until the day of the festival", at which point the person who gets caught with the mooncakes "has the misfortune of having to eat them". I think this is a little unfair; they're really quite tasty as long as you don't overdo it.
Essentially, a mooncake consists of a smooth sweet filling (usually based on lotus seeds) encased in a soft golden-brown pastry. Embedded in the filling, you may also find one or more salted duck egg yolks (鹹蛋黃/xián dàn huáng) — the more yolks, the more expensive the mooncake (the one below has a single yolk, and cost just under £5). I personally find the yolks delicious, but others disagree!
By the way, I apologise for the brevity of this post, but my internet connection has been acting up all week, so it's been quite hard to get anything written at all. I have something special to post on Monday, though, so I hope that will make up for it!