Happy Mid Autumn Festival!
|These are only the tastiest moon cakes in existence.|
Today is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.
I really don't know much about it. However, a quick Wikipedia search tells me it's a harvest festival celebrated in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Growing up, when it was the night of the mid-autumn festival, my parents would occasionally take us outside to hold out a box of moon cakes in the moonlight and offer it to some moon goddess in exchange for blessings and good tidings.
This didn't make sense to me for a couple of reasons. One, we'd usually eat the moon cakes ourselves so none would be left for the moon goddess. Two, there was no mention of the mid-autumn festival in school so no one else was doing this.
Of course, I followed suit for one main reason. Afterwards, we'd each get a moon cake.
For those unaware, moon cakes are a pastry that is filled with lotus paste and salted duck egg yolks. There are other variations of this treat, but that's the basics. Personally, I'm a fan of the moon cakes with two salted duck egg yolks inside.
Moon cakes, not surprisingly, also come in different qualities. As such, they check out at different prices.
Every year, wifey and I buy the moon cakes made by the Wing Wah bakery pictured above. They come in at around $40! That's $10 for a moon cake!
I know what you're thinking... That's insane!
Yes. Yes, it is.
However, we've tried a variety of other moon cakes priced in the range of $8.88 to $19.99 for a box of 4. To no one's surprise, they all taste terrible. The paste filling is too chewy or too sweet, the outside is usually too dry, or the salted duck egg yolk is a fraction of the size it should be.
With these Wing Wah moon cakes, there are no surprises. They are exactly the way moon cakes should be. Nothing too shocking considering they were the first to create moon cakes with lotus paste filling over 50 years ago in Hong Kong (this according to the insert provided with the tins*).
While I'm a fan of saving money, these moon cakes are only available once a year for a few weeks. Rather than spend $10 and regret eating a terrible moon cake, I don't mind spending much more for a moon cake that is just right.
As for budgeting for this, we simply categorize this under our food budget. Not a big deal considering we generally buy food items when they are on sale**.
If you like eating the cheap moon cakes, then don't try these moon cakes.
Frankly, once you're bumped up a level (or twenty[!] in this case), it's hard to go back to the old moon cakes.
*Also provided with the tins are serial numbers used to prove the origin of the moon cakes. As with other popular products, these moon cakes have been counterfeited in the past. Simply navigate to the website, enter the serial number and follow the instructions onscreen to verify the moon cakes authenticity.
**This weekend, we bought beef at Food Basics for $3.44/lb. When it packed it up and put them in the freezer, seems we have a lot more beef and pork from previous purchases. Wifey estimates we have meat for a year. I think she's exaggerating.