yuè bĭng (月餅)

10 Sep

The Mooncake. My friends who have lived in Beijing have mixed feelings about them. Some of them love them, some…not so much. My Chinese friends also don’t really know what to say eactly about them. There are many kinds and each have their own taste.
They are usually eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, in Chinese known as the Zhongqiu Festival. Zhong means “mid” and “qiu” means autumn…
Informative right?

The festival is for the watch of the moon, and moon cakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy on this occasion, which happens to be this weekend.

Where did this stem from? Let me tell you a little of what I have learned about Mid-Auntumn Festival…It is linked to the legends of Chang E, the mythical Moon Goodess of Immortality. But there is something more interesting about the mooncakes…
They are said to be used as a medium by the Ming revolutionaries in the espionage effort to distribute secretly their letters in order to overthrow the Mongolian rulers of China in the Yuan
dynasty. Now mooncakes are given as a symbol of good will and encouragement.

So, on this occasion, I tasted a mooncake. I ate a small wedge of the sesame seed version and another small wedge of the duck egg and lotus version. It was in a very nice description different. I did enjoy the smiles I recieved for eating them with company. The Chinese have a facination and love for food, that when they bestow a gift of food upon someone, they love to watch them enjoy it. So when I tasted those mooncakes, I smiles and nodded in appreciation…but also made a mental note only to eat what small amount I could to be polite. I must say that I enjoy the expression on the faces of my Chinese friends much more than the actual mooncake…but when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Plus I doesn’t kill me to try anything once right?


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