Epicure - - CONTENTS - Adeline Wong Man­ag­ing Edi­tor adeline.wong@magsint.com in­sta­gram.com/ade­linewongcy

We are nine months into 2018 and this sea­son typ­i­cally her­alds the ar­rival of the Midautumn Fes­ti­val. As I’m putting this is­sue to bed, my team and I have al­ready nib­bled our way through at least 40 new vari­ants of moon­cakes since the be­gin­ning of June. Each other day would bring with it a mys­tery box de­liv­ery: there was no guess­ing what new-fan­gled flavour we were about to get. Baked, snow skin or ice cream? Vodka or gin in­fused lo­tus paste? Spicy hae bee hiam or foie gras and truf­fle oil? Per­haps as a nod to our soar­ing tem­per­a­tures, cit­rusy flavours like yuzu and pineap­ple con­tin­ued to be star in­gre­di­ents in al­most ev­ery ho­tel’s mar­ket­ing col­lat­er­als.

Moon­cake pack­ag­ing de­signs have in­creased sev­eral notches above boxes that dou­ble up as jew­ellery cases or photo frames. The stakes get higher as the in­no­va­tions get fancier. This year, ho­tels, res­tau­rants - and even cof­fee chains - are out­do­ing each other with pre­mium LED boxes that cost al­most as much as the de­li­cious con­tent in­side. I ad­mit I was im­pressed by Crys­tal Jade’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Dis­ney, which re­sulted in a rose gold mu­si­cal carousel moon­cake tin that lights up from within. Played to the tune of Mickey Mouse March, the tin is not only an en­ter­tain­ing toy for young kids it also evokes nos­tal­gia for the adults.

While I love the in­ven­tive moon­cake flavours that chefs con­stantly come up with to sa­ti­ate con­sumers’ de­mand­ing palates, my all-time favourite, how­ever, is (and will al­ways be) the piglet moon­cakes. Yes, those cute-as-a-but­ton mas­cots of the Mid-au­tumn Fes­ti­val en­cased in mini red or pink plas­tic bas­kets. It also re­minds me of a hap­pier, sim­pler time when pa­per lanterns were con­sid­ered cool and just the thought of walk­ing around the neigh­bour­hood car­ry­ing them would get kids ex­cited for days be­fore.

What’s your favourite Mid-au­tumn tra­di­tion? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

This is­sue, we worked with Barcelona-born chef Car­los Mon­to­b­bio of Esquina restau­rant who whipped up a Cata­lan feast.

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