I was in Singapore just in time for the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival. The Mid-Autumn festival is also called the Moon Festival, and among the Chinese, it is customary during this time of the year that friends, family and business acquaintances bring each other mooncakes as presents.
Aaah mooncakes! Tender, golden skin embracing a filling of sweet lotus paste. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? I really wish I could write how tasty they are, and how much I love them, but in all honesty, I don’t like mooncakes at all. The filling is much too sweet for me, and despite all my good intentions, I’ve never managed to eat more than a bite or two.
Ok, there’s one exception. I once had a fancy-pancy, new-age mooncake in Beijing, which had custard cream instead of the ordinary lotus paste filling. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any mooncakes like that since then, but I’ve been fooled a couple of times by the egg yolk ones, as the egg yolk sometimes look slightly like custard cream. Can you imagine my disappointed grumpy-face, when realizing, that the yellow stuff inside is a salty egg yolk:
(and that’s an understatement).
Anyway, I have convinced myself that mooncakes must be an acquired taste (and a taste that I want to acquire), so I decided to bring back some mooncakes from a bakery shop, Bengawan Solo, in Singapore Airport. If you purchased more than 4, they came in a beautiful gift box, and you could pick and choose among the different flavors. I chose a plain one with white lotus paste, one with nuts, one with bean paste and one with egg yolk, to trick my friends with.
A couple of days after I got back to Dubai, Poul and I visited Mike and Nesli, and I brought the cakes with me. They looked so delicious, so I thought that now is the time. Today is the day I’ll be able to call myself a mooncake fan. But no. I tried all the different flavors, but none of them won me over. It was the same case for Poul and my friends.
I still haven’t given up completely, but maybe you could help me with my mooncake strategy. Should I just continue eating lotus paste/egg yolk mooncakes until I’ll eventually learn to like them (in 100 years or so)? Or is there a special brand or a certain flavor, which is more suitable for converting mooncake newbies like me?