Many people across the UK will be tucking into traditional treat the mooncake today (24 September) to mark the Chinese and Vietnamese mid-autumn festival.
Also eaten in countries including the Philippines and Taiwan to celebrate the occasion, the sweet treats are such a big part of the annual celebration it is sometimes referred to as Mooncake festival.
A typical mooncake is circular, around 4cm thick and 10cm in diameter. It traditionally comprises a whole duck’s egg yolk, surrounded by a sweet filling that is usually made from red bean or lotus seed paste, wrapped in a pastry case and imprinted with an intricate design – traditionally the Chinese characters for longevity and harmony.
As part of the mid-autumn festival, mooncakes are offered to family and friends, to show that the giver wishes the recipient a long and happy life.
Available from restaurants and specialist supermarkets in the UK, including Seewoo and Wing Yip, the delicacy is popular among the Chinese and Vietnamese communities in the UK, Seewoo’s managing director Lucy Mitchell told British Baker.
“Generally, mooncakes go on sale around one month ahead of the mid-autumn festival,” she explained.
“The most popular traditional filling is lotus bean paste and a duck egg yolk, although now flavoured custard fillings are proving very popular.”