Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Food Gallery: Global Moon Cakes

This past Sunday was the Chinese Moon Festival and I totally blew it. I was too lazy to go into Chinatown to hunt for moon cakes, the sweet round cakes made of a paste and surrounded by a baked shell with intricate designs. I know, I'm a bad Chinese boy. Anywho, I decided to share some photos from the Web of different kinds of moon cakes from around the world (well, mostly Asia). Some of these are just wild. Happy belated Moon Festival! Enjoy!

These moon cakes are from Japan. I didn't realize they bother to make moon cakes, but I guess they appreciate a full moon like anyone else. Of course, these moon cakes look more like mochi.

Here are more Japanese moon cakes. Those Japanese sure love pretty colors.

Now these are just darn cute. Mini moon cakes! I've actually seen this at Eastern Bakery in San Francisco's Chinatown. But never with that weird baby doll.

OK, if you don't like eating traditional moon cakes, then why not one made of Jello? I don't know where this is from but it's gelatin shaped as a moon cake. They even made the yellow duck egg yolk for the center.

Even Starbucks make their own moon cakes. This is probably at the Starbucks in Hong Kong or Shanghai, I'm guessing.

Apparently, these are the most popular couture moon cakes in China. They're from the Raffles Hotel in Beijing and Shanghai and they're made of white chocolate exterior and a gooey center of different flavors, including champagne truffles. Now that's a fancy moon cake. (BTW, I love the tin can it comes in.)

Here's a closer look at the Raffles' candy mooncakes. Hmmm, I don't know if I can wait till next year to get some moon cakes!

13 comments:

SteamyKitchen said...

That is SO cool!!!

Verena said...

The Starbucks in Hong Kong had apple tea mooncakes and coffee almond mooncakes this year, but I thought they were just okay.

You should definitely visit Asia some time to see the funky varieties and flavors of mooncakes - there were even ones w/ fois gras and cheese, black truffle, tom yum kung, durian ...

Kevin said...

Hey Ben,

Hong Kong's Kee Wah Bakery and Lifestyle shop G.O.D.'s crossover mooncake this year kick ass (litterally!) I tried to find the picture, but only this Chinese site tho.

http://gourmet.esdlife.com/features/chi/articles.php?id=1676

Cheers,
K.

Chef Ben said...

Verena, I didn't realize mooncakes were so upscale! I definitely will plan a trip around the moon festival. May take me a couple of years to save up the funds though so I can afford the truffles mooncakes! :)

Kevin, there's a branch of the Kee Wah Bakery in the Bay Area in Union City. I haven't been so I can't say for sure if they actually sell those "full moon" mooncakes. That's too funny. I can see giving a box to my mom, she'd be all like "is that what I think it is?" And I'll have to say "um, no Mom, those are supposed to be peaches. Yeah, that's it." ;-)

Sean said...

Oh my god they're almost too gorgeous to eat! Oh, who am I kidding?

Sienka said...

For one not in the know, what do these gorgeous moon cakes taste like?

Chubbypanda said...

Oh snap! International moon cakes for teh win. Nice one, Ben!

foodhoe said...

what a fun post! we tried to get in line at golden gatebakery a couple of weeks ago and the line was crazy!

Chef Ben said...

Sienka, I can't give first-hand descriptions of some of the fancy moon cakes pictured in this post, but I can tell you about the traditional moon cakes. The filling is a paste made from a variety of things like lotus root, black bean, red azuki beans, etc. Lotus root is the most traditional and my favorite. So it's a paste that's really creamy if done right, and it's mixed with a lot of oil which helps to keep it moist. That makes it yummy but also why I try not to eat it more than just once a year because it's probably not that healthy. But it's just once a year, right? ;-)

Krista said...

Hey could you tell me what software package you use to combine your photos? I need to start getting a bit more creative with the pictures on my blog.

Chef Ben said...

Krista, the photos you seen on this moon cake post are from the Web, so they're not mines. The other photos are, and whenever I combine shots, I use Adobe PhotoShop for all my touch up and changes to my shots.

Allo' Allo said...

Hello,

My name is Alex Houghton and I am the photo Editor for an english teaching magazine based in Taiwan. Our magazine Studio Classroom is doing an article on modern moon cakes and I saw you had a photo of a star bucks moon cake. I was wondering if you would allow us to use this image to decorate our article. We would copyright you as you would like.

To see that we are a true magazine. Our website is www.studioclassroom,com. And here is some more information about us.

Our organization, Overseas Radio & Television, Inc., is non-profit and is located in Taipei, Taiwan. We produce 3 magazines for the purpose of teaching English to the Chinese in Taiwan and Mainland China. Our magazine's circulation is around 600,000 mainly in Taiwan with a small portion of that distribution in Mainland China and North America. We teach from our articles on the radio to a Chinese listening audience of 2 million. We are a reputable English-teaching organization and have been teaching for 45 years through our magazines, radio and television programs.


Thank you for your time. And my contact is allosview@gmail.com

Alex Houghton
Studio Classroom

spindrift said...

The Raffles Hotel is in Singapore, which is not in China. It is in South East Asia.