ON MOON­CAKES AND MID-AU­TUMN

Let’s Eat - - CONTENTS -

Mixed Nuts with Dou­ble Egg. That’s al­ways been my fa­vorite moon­cake. I was never a stranger to this del­i­cacy. My dad, a lawyer first and a gourmet sec­ond, loved re­ceiv­ing them as gifts from his clients, and early on, even as a child who raided his fa­ther’s loot, I grav­i­tated to­wards the more deca­dent and, as I learned later, more ex­pen­sive moon­cakes. To this day, I’ve not been able to iden­tify ev­ery com­po­nent of that “mixed” va­ri­ety. There are lo­tus seeds and al­monds for sure, along with a cou­ple of lus­cious salted egg yolks. Some­times some “kun­dol”, or can­died win­ter melon. But I’ve never re­ally found out the sticky stuff that binds them all to­gether. Well, maybe some things are best left to the imag­i­na­tion… but I do love the fact that these days, my fa­vorite is avail­able year-round. And yes, I do give in and buy one in Eng Bee Tin ev­ery cou­ple of months, but noth­ing ri­vals the thrill of re­ceiv­ing that un­mis­tak­able bright red lac­quered tin can in Au­gust or Septem­ber, open­ing it care­fully, hop­ing, that amidst the black mongo and red lo­tus, one of the moon­cakes would have that “mixed nuts w/ dou­ble egg” sticker on its wrap­per. See­ing those, I al­ways felt like Char­lie Bucket find­ing a Golden Ticket!

The Mid-Au­tumn Fes­ti­val has its roots in An­cient China, when seers no­ticed the cor­re­la­tion be­tween the wax­ing of the moon in re­la­tion to the main har­vest sea­son. What be­gan as su­per­sti­tion is now cause for global ju­bi­la­tion. The fullest and bright­est moon is re­flected in the moon­cake: a sign of pros­per­ity, and in its round­ness, a sym­bol to­geth­er­ness as well. The com­ple­tion of a cir­cle; the re­unions of fam­i­lies.

And when Chi­nese clans come to­gether at this time of the year, it’s al­ways an op­u­lent oc­ca­sion with great joy, great love, and yes, great amounts of great food. Wel­come to our very first Chi­nese Food Spe­cial. We prom­ise it’ll be as much fun as a Dice Game . . .

Let’s Eat!

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