If you are familiar with Chinese culture, then you may already know what a mooncake is. Traditionally, this snack is consumed as part of the mid-autumn festival which happens across China.
The festival itself lasts for a full week, and mooncakes are plentiful on the streets of China.
Often they are round in shape which is in reference to the moon, however you can find mooncakes in other different shapes too.
Mooncakes are often baked until they appear to be golden brown, and they will have a stamp on the top which has the name of the filling within it. This is often savory or sweet.
Even so, the ones you find will likely just have a pattern on top.
So, while you might know what a mooncake looks like, how about what they taste like. If you are still curious about mooncakes, then read on to find out more.
What Is A Mooncake?
To put it simply, a mooncake is a Chinese dessert. Traditionally they are sold and eaten during the mid-autumn festival which lasts for an entire week.
They can appear to feel solid in shape, but once you bite into them they are soft. The ingredients used are eggs, flour, lard, sugar, and a pinch of salt.
The filling will add some extra ingredients to the mix, but this depends on what the filling is.
While the original mooncake is round in reference to the moon’s shape, there have been other designs of mooncakes. For example, a star or a lotus.
Why Are Mooncakes Eaten In China?
There are many stories about how mooncakes came to be so prominent in Chinese culture.
One such folk tale is when the Yuan dynasty were overthrown by messages which had been smuggled inside of mooncakes. This then resulted in the Ming dynasty becoming established.
However, today the mooncake symbolizes expressing your best wishes and love to family and friends during the mid-autumn festival in China.
Mooncakes are often eaten with the ones you love, expressing the gratitude and thanks that you have for them.
The mid-autumn festival itself is both a cultural and religious week-long festival that is celebrated during the harvest in the fall season. This is when the moon is at its brightest and fullest.
What Does A Mooncake Taste Like?
The taste of a mooncake is different depending on its filling. While the ‘case’ of a mooncake is pretty much the same for every mooncake, its center filling can change the notes of what it tastes like overall.
The case of a mooncake is crumbly, yet it tastes lovely and sweet. However, once you bite into the filling, you will get a unique taste depending on what the filling is.
Traditionally, a mooncake is filled with red bean or lotus seed paste. Modern flavors of mooncakes are cream cheese, custard, or even green tea.
For this reason, let’s take a look at each flavor of mooncake individually:
Red Bean Paste
You might already recognize red bean paste as being a traditional flavor in countries such as China and Japan. It is also a traditional flavor when it comes to mooncakes.
It has a deep red color and is very thick when it comes to texture. Its overall flavor may remind you of sweet potatoes that have been baked, however the flavor is richer with a salty edge.
Lotus Seed Paste
Lotus seed paste will give you the most traditional taste of all of these flavors. This filling dates back hundreds of years. Despite it being a traditional filling, it is also an expensive mooncake to buy.
The ingredients for the paste are hard to find, making this type of filling go up in price. This struggle also makes people want to buy it, so again this justifies its expensive price.
The overall flavor is salty yet sweet, with an overall savory taste.
Mooncakes with green tea are actually a modern type of filling, which may surprise some of you. While you may think this has a bitter flavor, it is more reminiscent of matcha green tea.
The inner filling has that creamy yet earthy matcha green tea flavor, and the casing itself is green due to being mixed with the matcha powder.
This is for aesthetic reasons, rather than for its taste.
The custard filled mooncakes are great for those who have never had a mooncake before. The flavor is bound to be very familiar, meaning that it will be easy to eat.
For example, if you tried a red bean paste mooncake, you might not be able to finish it if you don’t like the flavor.
The custard adds a creaminess and sweetness to the mooncake that will make it very moreish.
Cream cheese is a delicious way to eat a mooncake. Once you bite into the crumbly case, you will be met with a very sweet and familiar tasting filling. It also makes the mooncake a wonderful dessert.
Because all mooncakes are made with very much the same ingredients – apart from the filling of course – the outer case will always have a sweetness to it.
This means that if your filling is sweet, just remember that it will be extra sweet due to the outer and inner of the mooncake being sweet too!
Having coconut as the main filling flavor is also quite traditional. It involves having shredded coconut mixed into a paste and then piped into the inside of the sweet dessert.
The overall flavor is creamy and coconutty, but not as sweet as cream cheese. You will find it creamy too and ever so delicious to eat.
How Are Mooncakes Served?
Because mooncakes have a lot of symbolism surrounding friends and family, they are often eaten together, or gifted to the ones you love.
However, you can also give mooncakes to colleagues and so on as a gift. A mooncake represents your respect and gratitude for them at this time of year.
Mooncakes traditionally are served with red bean or lotus seed paste as the filling, however it doesn’t matter what you go for. In fact, you can be as creative as you desire if you plan to make your own.
If you want to be extra creative, you can add ice cream too!
Also, mooncakes can be eaten whenever you would like. There are no set times to eat a mooncake. However, if you would prefer, you can just eat them as a dessert or a snack.
If you have never had a mooncake before but are curious to find out what they taste like, then there is no better time than now. When it comes to the flavor, it actually all depends on the filling.
Even so, the outer casing is sweet and crumbly.
While they are traditionally eaten during the mid-autumn festival in China, they can be easily baked and eaten with your favorite filling.
Just remember to share them with friends and family to show them how much you care and love them. Plus, you can always make them as a gift to give them during fall.
What Does A Mooncake Taste Like? Does A Mooncake Taste Good?Course: Taste Like
What does a mooncake taste like this? This traditional Chinese snack or dessert tastes different depending on its filling. Find out what they are here
Ingredients from your favorite recipes
- Because mooncakes have a lot of symbolism surrounding friends and family, they are often eaten together, or gifted to the ones you love.
- However, you can also give mooncakes to colleagues and so on as a gift. A mooncake represents your respect and gratitude for them at this time of year.
- Mooncakes traditionally are served with red bean or lotus seed paste as the filling, however it doesn’t matter what you go for. In fact, you can be as creative as you desire if you plan to make your own.
- If you want to be extra creative, you can add ice cream too!
- Also, mooncakes can be eaten whenever you would like. There are no set times to eat a mooncake. However, if you would prefer, you can just eat them as a dessert or a snack.
- What Is The Flavor Of Arctic Char? Is It Good? - February 9, 2023
- What Does Pumpkin Spice Latte Taste Like? How To Make At Home? - February 9, 2023
- What Does Mountain Dew Taste Like? What Drinks Are Similar? - February 9, 2023