Now... let me get this straight... what's important about the Chinese tradition of Mid Autumn?.....
Harvest? Lanterns? Family? Prayers? Mooncakes (*whispers* but of course!)
We all know the history of the festival by now; why it's celebrated..and how it applies to Chinese culture worldwide. However... think about it this way, we don't have Autumn here in Malaysia! There are only 2 seasons for us. Rainy; MORE rainy. *laughs*
It might also be that Malaysians stress the importance of those tasty little decadent pastries a little too much when this time of year closes in. We often refer to it as the "Mooncake Festival" instead. haha... it's really all about the buying, sharing, gifting and tasting of those cakes! Well...I suppose lanterns and family are important too... but here's the truth. You can't taste a lantern can you? and who are you going to share that chunk of deliciousness with if not your loving family? *giggle*
I've written twice now about the festival a couple years back. I've done the 'red bean bunny mooncakes'..while in university and the funny "walnut piggy ones"the year after.
I've not done anything excessively creative this year... but there are a few chefs in our region who have definitely exceeded my expectations of what a mooncake can actually be!
Remember the good ol day's when mooncake meant, salted egg yolks, redbean filling, lotus paste or mixed nuts? Well.. these days; I'm not sure you can put your finger on exactly what goes into a mooncake anymore! Similar to the way the traditions of Mid Autumn festival have evolved from China to us locals here in South East Asia, the different variations of mooncakes and their fillings have also been significant.
Crisp peanutbuttery treats filled with raspberry filling and then wrapped around a sheen of lusciously smooth milk chocolate.
.... oh; how can you resist. Mandarin Oriental has really outdone themselves this time. I must admit though; it reminded me lots of America and it's candy. *laughs*
How about a petite ball of champagne flavoured lotus paste; covered with a soft supple white skin. Hidden inside is a decadent white chocolate truffle; waiting to explode as you bite through into its liquid ganache center. AHhhhhhh.... Raffles Singapore.. you've done it again. Mom and Dad can't get enough. I was lucky to wake up early last weekend to take photos of these beautiful babies before they wiped the box clean! *tsk tsk*Aunt Veronica made the family a special little box of these 'cold skin' red bean mooncakes. In my opinion; nothing compares to the taste of sincere thoughtfulness and love. They were sensational! She's such a good cook.
Even with the unimaginable hours I put into work all day. I felt I should have done something nice for everyone too... ahh; I've got no excuse. I'm so so slack.