How Many Moon Cakes Did You Eat?

An open thread to start the week…

The Discussion: 49 Comments

Oh Jesus…I like some Moon Cakes, but most are too sweet form my tastes. However, my wife’s company sent a couple of boxes home for us during the festival and I ate an entire box by myself. They were quite tasty.

September 19, 2005 @ 1:23 am | Comment

The full text of North Korea nuclear agreement:

September 19, 2005 @ 1:24 am | Comment

Hey, they are doing some more “upscale” mooncakes these days that really are good. Smaller and not so heavy.

I haven’t had any I’m afraid. But I had tacos and beer at the baseball game on Friday, beer and “titan toothpicks” (sort of giant chicken taquitos, except better) before the game today and excellent pizza after.

Plus the Padres took 2 out of 3 games from the Nationals. Exciting games, too…

September 19, 2005 @ 1:30 am | Comment


September 19, 2005 @ 5:44 am | Comment

None. Don’t think I had any last year either or the year before come to that. But then again, I don’t like any sweet things.

I noticed chocolate mooncakes in the shops for the first time this year.

September 19, 2005 @ 5:59 am | Comment


you won’t miss them if you eat gift mooncakes from sept to feb of next year

September 19, 2005 @ 6:59 am | Comment

None. I still have the whole box of six big ‘uns sitting in my hall, if anyone wants to claim them.

September 19, 2005 @ 7:47 am | Comment

Martyn, it’s rather unusual for s Brit not to like sweet cakes and puddings. It’s a pity. So I can’t tempt you with an apple rubbarb crumble and a sticky date pudding.

September 19, 2005 @ 8:23 am | Comment

Fat Cat, please don’t mention apple rhubarb crumble anymore! When I was a kid growing up in rural Iowa, my mom used to make rhubarb pie (and crumble) from fresh rhubarb she grew herself. Ohhhhh …

Nothin’ like that in these parts!

September 19, 2005 @ 9:16 am | Comment

I finally learned why mooncakes from back in San Francisco look so different from the ones I see here (and no, the reason is not the same as the one for “fortune cookies”).

I just discovered that there are apparently two varieties of mooncakes, the ones most popular here are the Guangdong style, while in San Francisco they are the Suzhou style. I can’t figure out why Suzhou style mooncakes would be popular in San Francisco (where most Chinese hail from Guangdong), but there it is. Maybe a Chinese poster can straighten me out if I’m wrong on any of this.

The GuangDong style mooncakes are the familiar ones: brown, cake-like outside, baked in very detailed, ornate molds.

The Suzhou-style is lighter, crispier, and flakier, and have a rougher, flatter shape, like that of a (real) hamburger patty. The outside is white, the top is painted yellow with red writing.

Although (for better or worse) the innards are the same, the Suzhou style taste much better! ๐Ÿ™‚

My favorite filling: lotus seeds, which seems to be the closest thing to vanilla in Chinese cuisine.

My nomination for worst filling: seaweed – unless there are jellyfish mooncakes somewhere.

September 19, 2005 @ 9:32 am | Comment

OMG, you guys ate communist mooncakes! Be aware of the consequences!

September 19, 2005 @ 9:53 am | Comment

I like seaweed sushi, although I haven’t had a seaweed mooncake, how different does it taste?

September 19, 2005 @ 9:57 am | Comment

I think mooncakes are bloody awful.

If they were that nice, wouldn’t people eat them all year round? They’re probably too rich to eat all year round.

Chinese cakes and pastries in general are awful. The only I have had here that is edible are egg tarts in Macau, Hong Kong and Guangdong.

I much prefer Japanese food. It must be the finest cuisine in the world. Leaves China’s offerings in the dust!

September 19, 2005 @ 12:55 pm | Comment

I miss the 冰皮 (bing pi) kind you can get in Singapore, with flavored skins. I wonder if it’s sold in China too, or whether it’s a purely local invention.

September 19, 2005 @ 1:14 pm | Comment

I ate 1/8 piece of cake this time. Lotus and salty eggyolk inside. Not bad, although I am not a big fan of mooncakes. Actually I was forced to eat mooncake in this festival by my parents when I was a kid. I really hated them then. However their taste seems to be getting better every year.

September 19, 2005 @ 1:24 pm | Comment

Just read this interesting Reuters article:

Dark side of the mooncakes

(Reuters) — The people of Beijing munched through 15,000 tonnes of mooncakes — more than 1 kg (2.2 lb) per person — and bought one tenth of all the round cakes sold nationwide for Sunday’s Mid-Autumn Festival, Xinhua news agency said Monday.

The traditional, heavy pastries, symbols of the moon and common gifts for family, friends and business associates, have become a huge business in China with elaborate, lavishly packaged sets of just a few cakes commanding sky-high prices.

Around this year’s moon festival, when families get together for dinner and to observe the largest full moon of the year, mooncake sales in the Chinese capital alone hit nearly 1 billion yuan, Xinhua said.

For all their popularity, mooncakes are subjects of annual controversy over their climbing prices, the waste generated by their excessive packaging and unsavory makers grinding up the previous year’s cakes for use in new batches.

Earlier this year, the central government launched a crackdown on over-the-top mooncake packages containing such lavish gifts as solid gold Buddha statues and sometimes offered as bribes to government officials.

But the controversies have not left a bad taste in China’s mouth about the pastries, which come filled with salted duck egg yolk, lotus seed paste and even chocolate or ice cream.

The cakes symbolize the overthrow of the Mongols at the end of the Yuan dynasty in the 14th century when, according to legend, secret notes baked into sweets helped spark an uprising.

September 19, 2005 @ 2:07 pm | Comment

I must admit, I never knew that mooncakes symbolized the overthrow of the Mongols at the end of the Yuan dynasty.

Was anyone else aware of this… it just me?!

September 19, 2005 @ 2:10 pm | Comment

I think I used to know that, Martyn! But like many other things, I’d kind of forgotten it.

I have heard about mooncake corruption though. There was a very entertaining article about it last year in one of the major papers.

I had not heard, however, about grinding up last year’s for this years. Ugh!

September 19, 2005 @ 2:46 pm | Comment

Hey Steve I agree with you. Mooncake during mid-fall is like fruit cake during christmas.

September 19, 2005 @ 2:58 pm | Comment

TalktalkChina has a funny story about mooncakes too. Some interesting comments as well.

September 19, 2005 @ 2:58 pm | Comment

This really made me laugh this morning.
British forces ‘rescued’ two undercover commandos arrested by Iraqi forces. According to the Iraqis,
“A British force of more than 10 tanks backed by helicopters attacked the central jail and destroyed it. This is an irresponsible act,” adding that the British force had spirited the prisoners away to an unknown location.
But the British version is much different. According to the MoD squad, “the two British soldiers were freed after negotiations.” True, British armor crashed through the walls of the jail. and “acknowledged a wall was demolished” as British forces managed to “collect” the two prisoners.
What? THAT wall? Oh yes. Ummm, we did smash it down, yes. But we WERE negotiating at the time….
The article I got this info from questions the true amount of sovereignity the Iraqis truly have if the Brits can just smash building down with impunity. Not that I’m criticising the action, mind!

September 19, 2005 @ 5:50 pm | Comment

What do you mean “overthrow of the Mongols?” China cannot overthrow the Mongols, because Mongolia is part of China.

EVERY country which ever invaded or occupied China, is part of China.
Manchuria is part of China. Japan is part of China. England is part of China. (Sorry, I meant to say “England Province of China.”)

September 19, 2005 @ 7:42 pm | Comment

I think most of you will find this video clip illustrious of the bush administration:

September 19, 2005 @ 8:07 pm | Comment

just wanted to announce: is finally up and running again. after a month’s vacation, and an attempted block in da muthaland, i’m back with a vengeance (although my fonts are still all screwy).

September 19, 2005 @ 9:49 pm | Comment

Ivan, I know. It’s like Is France part of Europe? Is Britain part of Europe?

September 19, 2005 @ 10:04 pm | Comment


Please, say “France Province of China”, so that you don’t offend the French National Minority of China.

September 20, 2005 @ 12:46 am | Comment

Chester, I think Ivan is trying to be funny in a provocative way – if this is the right way to put it.

Vietnamese mooncakes are very nice too. They are made from either melon paste or bean paste wrapped in a kind of puff pastry.

Shanghai Slim, I grow my own rhubarb too. They taste much nicer than those that I can get from the green grocer. I also grow lemon, grapefruit, mandarin and grapes in my garden.

September 20, 2005 @ 1:01 am | Comment

Fat Cat,

What do you mean, “provocative”?

The REAL provocation is the continuing occupation of Chinese Hawaii by the American hegemonists!
The people of Hawaii Province of China want to return to their Chinese Motherland, but the American hegemonists continue to interfere in China’s internal affairs in Hawaii……


September 20, 2005 @ 1:16 am | Comment

Of course. And the imperialists in Australia, with the support of their American hegemonical allies, have annexed Tasmania from Indonesia and refused to acknowledge New Zealand as an Indonesian province.

September 20, 2005 @ 1:36 am | Comment

Free Australia! Australia must be liberated and returned to Java!

September 20, 2005 @ 4:19 am | Comment

Anyone who has enjoyed the comments by davesgonechina on this site will be as pleased as I am to note that Dave’s blog Musing Under The Tenement Palm is now back up and running. The site slowed down a bit when Dave was travelling.

Perhaps Dave himself can advise how much time he now has available for blogging?

September 20, 2005 @ 6:18 am | Comment

I had one single mooncake – quite a delicious one – that a girl saved for me, while another girl asked me out for a date on the evening of the festival featuring a bright round mOOn.

So which girl made the better move?

Guess I’ll have to follow up on both of them just to make sure ๐Ÿ˜‰

September 20, 2005 @ 6:22 am | Comment

Outrageous boasting Mitch!

Shameful, absolutely shameful.

September 20, 2005 @ 6:33 am | Comment

just came across your site, really like it, trying to add to blogroll but seems to be down, anyone else having that problem.

September 20, 2005 @ 7:40 am | Comment

Sorry RJT, I’ve no idea as to your question about but I’m sure someone will come on and answer before long.

That’s a nice site you’ve got there. For any interested readers, here is the link:

Burma Watch

On your site, is it just my computer or is the right-hand side of the text slightly obscured by your right-hand sidebar? (with the blogroll, Categories, Search option etc.)

September 20, 2005 @ 7:49 am | Comment


What qualifies you to draw such conclusion about Chinese and Japanese cuisines?

Maybe a couple of sushi rolls at Kobe, and maybe some carry out egg rolls?


September 20, 2005 @ 7:53 am | Comment

I believe the slightly obscured text on the right shows up only on Firefox.

September 20, 2005 @ 7:54 am | Comment

I just read this on the Burma Watch site, you learn something everyday:

“To answer a common question, why call the nation Burma? Well, Myanmar was the title given by the junta, the call it Burma is to be in defiance.”

September 20, 2005 @ 7:55 am | Comment

Ah thanks, boo. I am, indeed, using Firefox.

September 20, 2005 @ 7:56 am | Comment

any laowai knows Li Ao? how do you see him?

September 20, 2005 @ 7:58 am | Comment

Seaweed mooncakes taste terrible.
Just thought I’d let you know.

Managed to give the beef ones a bodyswerve this year.

By Ivan’s rationale, surely question should not be, “Is France part of Europe?”, but instead, “is all of northern Europe: France, Germany, Denmark, Norway part of Britain?”

September 20, 2005 @ 7:59 am | Comment

glad you like the site, I have trying to find some one to take the tweeks out. should be cured in a coulpe days, I hope.

September 20, 2005 @ 8:04 am | Comment


I’ve just finished reading your site. It looks really promising mate and it’s very well written.

Because of the Hum@n R1ghts abuses and the Military Junta in power there, I think that Burma is a subject which interests us all, or at least should interest us all.

Please do keep TPD updated on your latest posts. Often, other bloggers will come onto the open threads (such as this one) and link to any new posts on their site. This is welcomed on TPD.

Good luck with the site and keep in touch.

By the way, I’m now glad I used the correct word “Burma” in the ‘China warns on U.N. right of intervention’ post!

September 20, 2005 @ 8:08 am | Comment

Is all of Northern Europe part of Britain? Heaven forbid. But a true story: Back around year 1900, there was heavy fog over the English Channel and the (London) Times headline said:

“Fog over Channel, Continent cut off”

September 20, 2005 @ 8:33 am | Comment

Moon Cakes and Moon Pies…

It’s all good.

But in regards to BushCo wanting the US to go back to the Moon…I say GREAT…just so long as Bush + family, Rove, Cheney, et al. are all on board.

September 20, 2005 @ 2:39 pm | Comment

thanks Martyn for the warm welcome, I believe I will link on a time or two.

September 20, 2005 @ 3:11 pm | Comment

i know li ao!
you can check my site for opinions, although perhaps you already have…

September 20, 2005 @ 6:37 pm | Comment

Sun-Bin has a great post called ‘The cost of not being a democracy’. He raises several very good and very-difficult-to-argue-against points. Well worth checking out.

It’s on Blogspot (and I can’t access the site via proxy for some reason today) but it’s also on Sun-Bin’s mirror site.

September 20, 2005 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

A new thread has been posted up above.

September 20, 2005 @ 11:58 pm | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.