p

PTT's Profile

Title Last Reply

Moon Cakes are here !

I see that The Association of Chinese Cooking Teachers is have a Mooncake Making Workshop in September 13. Contact Frank at frankjang888@gmail.com for more information.

Aug 24, 2013
PTT in San Francisco Bay Area

Moon Cakes are here !

The moon has fascinated the Chinese since the dawn of history. The moon followed thruout the year as the guidepost of everything Chinese. According to the Chinese lunar-moon calendar, the Mid Autumn Moon Festival or "harvest moon" is held on the 15th day of the 8th "moon" month close to the autumn equinox, when yin and yang are in perfect balance.

Mooncakes Historically: Mongol Tartar hordes of Ghengis Khan destroyed the Chinese Song Dynasty and established their Yuan Dynasty in the 13th Century (1280 AD-1368 AD). However, many Han Cantonese-- southern Chinese--resented the oppression, persecution and slavery rule by these foreign barbarian. In the 14th Century, Liu Bowen helped plot the overthrow of the Yuan Dynasty by organizing resistance to be held during the August Moon Festival in 1368, Since the Tartar Mongolians did not eat Chinese mooncakes. Chinese bakers were told to pass along secret messages in mooncakes to all Chinese households containing a slip of paper on which was written an incantation, appropriate action at midnight to execute all Mongolians after the August Moon family gathering but not to eat the mooncakes until the 15th of the 8th lunar moon. If done, they would surely be freed and, thus founding of the next Ming Dynasty under Emperor Zhu.

To commemorate the victory, Cantonese-southern Chinese honored the "mooncake" as their symbol of victory. Round palm-sized flaky pastry dough stuffed with sweet bean-paste filling with salted duck golden yellow egg yolks at the center, mooncake represent heavenly blessing and symbolize family unity and perfection. This expensive delicacy has a wide variety of fillings, e.g. egg yolk, lotus seed paste, taro, black bean paste, red bean paste, coconut, walnuts, dates are available. Individually hand made it takes as long as 2 to 4 weeks to prepare. The Cantonese use a custom-made seasoned, wooden mold to shape each moon cake top with an embossed insignia of the baker or characters for “longevity”, “harmony” molded into the golden brown skin. Mooncake can even be refrigerated or freezed for a month before eaten. Moon Cookies made from the mold-shape of pigs, fish, gods, or sages are made for children.