Chinese Mooncakes

My introduction to Chinese food and customs is continuing.  Last week, I was given a lovely gift of mooncakes, made with rice flour so that I could eat them.

My neighbor explained that mooncakes are associated with a mid-autumn festival for moon worship and moon-watching.  The mooncakes are gifted between friends and family as part of the celebration of this important festival.

Checking the internet, I found that there are a variety of recipes.  The cakes my neighbor prepared had a rather soft exteriormoon cakes with a sweet bean filling.

The texture of the cake was unexpected.  It was both soft and firm at the same time.  The filling was sweeter than I would have expected for a bean-based filling.  It almost seemed to have a slight blueberry flavor, although there were no berries used.  As you can see from the photo, they were presented to me on a beautiful plastic plate.  I have to find out where she found it.

I treasure my friendship with my Chinese neighbors, and am so pleased to be introduced to the traditional culture.  It has brought unexpected richness to my life.  This week, a Chinese man came to the antique shop, and I was able to talk with him about mooncakes.  He was pleased to have me bring up the subject, and added his own comments about the festival.

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