Mid-Autumn has always been my favourite time of the year, especially the traditional Chinese festival associated with it. In my younger days, the Mid-Autumn Festival was a fun time for children in our neighbourhood. We carried lanterns with real candles (not the irritating sound-producing battery-operated types), walked around the neighbourhood and received food (mostly mooncakes and pomelo, the two foods associated with the festival) from the adults. It’s like a oriental version of Halloween.
H and I each have our preferred mooncake ‘brands’ and we both have been consistently loyal to our perennial favourites over the years. This is despite my parents bringing us boxes of mooncakes from other ‘brands’ (i.e. mostly hotels and restaurants) every year. As children, we ought to be the ones buying mooncakes for the parents but basically gave up after a few years because we kept getting chastised for wasting money (since they never have a lack of mooncakes from business associates). So in turn, we have been receiving mooncakes from them instead. Every year, the mum picks the prettiest-packages mooncakes or the most famous ones to gift them to us. So you could say we are somewhat connoisseurs where mooncakes are concerned.
For H his love is the baked mooncake without yolk from Da Zhong Guo, a very traditional cake house. And mine is the champagne truffle mooncake from Raffles Hotel. In this respect we have completely different tastes from each other, and even more so from other typical Singaporeans. We both don’t like yolks in our mooncakes (seriously cannot imagine how some people take the mooncakes with 4 yolks!). And I prefer snowskin mooncakes over the traditional baked ones because of the lighter taste. I also really loved Crown Prince Hotel’s flaky skin yam paste mooncake – yam is one of my greatest loves. Blame it on the Teochew genes in me. However the original flaky skin mooncakes disappeared from the local scene for a while and by the time it resurfaced (with the original chef under a different brand) there were too many imitations out there. The tedium of having to find the original one made me give up on the flaky skin mooncakes altogether. I’m impatient and unforgiving like that.
So this year, H handed me the papers with a feature on mooncakes and asked me which I would like to have this year. I looked at him quizzically and then asked, ‘Need you ask?’ LOL. This is one of the reasons why we are suited for each other – predictable and somewhat dependable personalities. And we are very clear about our likes and dislikes. It’s not always a good thing since we end up being very consistent, and single-track minded about things.
I am glad to be amongst people who accept me as who I am.
This year our family also tried the much raved about Mini Egg Custard Mooncakes from The Peninsula Hong Kong. And didn’t like it much. Guess our palates show that we are not Cantonese.