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Mooncake

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Mooncake
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Mooncake

The mooncake (Template:Zh-stp) is a Chinese cake-like confection that is traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, although mooncakes can be eaten at other times throughout the year as well.

Mooncakes are round in shape to symbolize the moon. According to legend, when the Mongol Yuan Dynasty ruled China in the 14th century, Chinese rebels were able to overthrow the Mongols in part because they hid secret messages inside mooncakes, which the Mongols did not eat, that were then passed around.

Most mooncakes are made of ground lotus, or of bean or seed paste, and other ingredients, occasionally with egg yolks in the center. Different types of bean paste, from mung bean paste to azuki bean paste, can be used; in any case, the preparation of the bean paste is very time-consuming, requiring two to four weeks, so families usually buy them at professional bakeries instead of making the mooncakes themselves. Sometimes one or two dried, salted whole egg yolks are baked inside. Mooncakes are expensive and considered a delicacy, and modern mooncakes come in many flavors and sizes. There are even fat-free forms for the health-conscious (traditional mooncakes are often baked with lard).

In the West, mooncakes can be purchased in Chinatowns. Typical mooncakes are about 10 cm in diameter, 4-5 cm thick, and are very dense, especially in comparison to Western cakes. Westerners are often surprised at how much the cake weighs relative to its size.

See also

zh:月饼 ms:Kuih Bulan

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