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Self-made mooncakes most trustworthy

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, September 13, 2011
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Homemade mooncakes are rarely seen in Chinese households these days. This traditional pastry is now mass produced in factories and easily accessible in markets. But families in Beijing joined a mooncake making workshop, for a taste of the tradition that they have missed for decades. Wang Yizhi tell us why they are keen to make mooncakes themselves.

Participation was the most important criteria at this mooncake making workshop. The tradition is hundreds of years old but still new to some.

Lotus seed paste is the most popular filling for mooncakes. It can also be mixed with other adventurous food like this, Spanish bacon. Knead the filling into a small ball, which in Chinese culture, symbolizes the reunion of the whole family.

Chen Xu, Beijing Resident, said, "I remember only one time I made mooncakes. It was in my childhood. Making mooncakes is a tradition full of charm. My niece has never made mooncakes. So I took her here."

The exterior of a mooncake is blended with salad oil, syrup and flour. In mass production, preservatives are also added in this process. Use the dough to wrap up the filling and squeeze it into a mold. Then give it a few knocks. And you have a raw mooncake.

In the past, factory-made mooncakes could be kept for up to 4 months. But recent food additive regulations have limited the usage of preservatives in all products, shrinking the shelf-life of mooncakes by half. Organizers for the workshop said they noticed a growing demand for healthier mooncakes among the participants.

Zhang Zhicheng, Wine Education Director of Zun Cellar, said, "We guarantee that no harmful substances were added to the food. Our participants can see that in the process. The cake must be eaten within a week since there's zero preservatives."

"Self-made makes it the most trustworthy. That is part of the reason I am here." Chen said.

The mooncakes are pigment-free too. To make them more colorful, egg yolk was used instead, before the cakes were put into the oven. After 13-minutes of baking in 200 degree Celsius, the mooncakes are ready to be served.

Instead of the traditional choice of Chinese tea, Italian white wine was served with the mooncakes this time. A mix between eastern and western culture, is widely accepted among these Chinese.

"More and more people drink wine in China. The sour taste in the wine compliments the overly sweet mooncakes. This is how we blend the two different cultures." Zhang said.


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