Celebrating the modern mooncake

In Holidays and Festivals on 27/09/2015 at 11:17 am

In recent years, a bevy of newer varieties have sprung up alongside the traditional nut- and bean-based ones. A saleswoman at one of Singapore’s luxury hotels says that their bestseller this year is a snowskin mooncake—which gets its name from the pounded-rice dough that must be kept either refrigerated or frozen—stuffed with a milk chocolate and Earl Grey tea filling dotted with chocolate pearls. Other filling flavours include durian, Irish whiskey and cognac; in China organic and vegan mooncakes are having a moment.

Tempting as it is to condemn these innovations as non-traditional, Fuchsia Dunlop, a British authority on Chinese food, notes that “cuisines are living cultural artefacts…they are a response to where we are now.” And where we are now is a world in which Chinese chefs often travel to the West, just as increasing numbers of Westerners seek their fortunes in the Sinosphere. Its cuisine reflects such interchanges.

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