The past couple of weeks, I saw that stalls have been set up in the malls to sell mooncakes. Seems like we are getting close to the 中秋节 Mooncake Festival @ Mid-Autumn Festival again, huh?
It made me think that maybe I should buy a box of mooncakes to bring home, for I have never done it before. So I went to the stalls to check out the latest prices, but to my chagrin, the cheapest mooncake was selling at RM 18.99 per cake. That means a box of mooncakes would be close to RM76! We definitely need some smart guy managing our Chinatown affairs in a better way – like this Tran Siu, who is based in Melbourne!
So I banished that thought to the deepest recess of my mind and moved on with life…
Then, a day before I left for home in KL, I spotted the in-house Bread History was selling some handmade mooncakes. It was RM 59.90 per box, and there were 9 mooncakes in the box. That sounds… less expensive (still expensive).
What attracted me was the fact that these mooncakes are supposed to be all handmade and without preservatives, so they should be safer for consumption. And also the paste that they use as fillings for the mooncakes. I mean, words like red dates and six coarse grains and osmanthus… it doesn’t matter if the mooncakes taste good or not, those words alone would probably please my mom greatly.
So I bought two boxes on a whim. And I brought them home with me. True enough, my mom was impressed with the illustration and description sheet.
The mooncakes are actually pretty small. I would say they are like, a third of one of those premium branded mooncakes from the malls, or half of those cheap mooncakes from the morning/night market. So this means in terms of overall size, it is not cheaper than those mooncakes from the malls. But it is probably more worth it due to the health related properties.
These are called 上海月饼 Shanghai mooncakes. I’m actually not really sure if this is really how mooncakes in Shanghai would look like, or if it is just a name given by the Cantonese people for these round shaped mooncakes.
How did the mooncakes taste? Well… I did try a few flavors before I came back to Penang. Well, they taste… erm… special. They’re sweet but not too sweet, so that’s good. But they don’t taste like the usual lotus paste mooncakes that I am so used to, and I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. I suppose it is, at least they taste much better than all those coffee/lavender/durian/whatever-new-age flavored crap that those mooncake houses managed to concoct in recent years…