Mooncakes enjoy a 3000 year history and are traditionally eaten on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. This date in the Gregorian calendar changes from year to year; in 2010 it falls on September 22nd.
Mooncakes are a round deep cake with a thin layer of pastry and dense rich filling which may include egg yolks, lotus paste, bean paste, fruit, meat and salted eggs. Their shape is said to symbolize the full moon. In the Yuan dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang a Ming revolutionary concocted a plot to overthrow Mongolian oppressors with a clever ruse in which secret messages where hidden within moon cakes. In more recent times moon cakes have become a massive industry and lavishly decorated gift packs have become ubiquitous.
It’s virtually a crime to be in China in the month of September and not eat at least one mooncake. Having said this, around the end of the month there is normally a glut of middling to average mooncakes circulating, unwanted; being passed from friend to friend and colleague to colleague, particularly exotic (read- unpalatable) flavours are often the favourites to be passed on for someone else’s “enjoyment”. To help you avoid buying the nasties, here is a list of the best places in town to find the choicest lunar pastries.
Holiland Bakery is one of China’s mainstays in the world of cakes and patisseries; therefore it comes as no surprise that they are taking a large slice of the mooncake industry pie –if you excuse the pun. Well known for good solid standard fare in their cakes and city wide locations, Holiland mooncakes are no exception. If you are thinking of buying that gift box then they are also a good choice with a range starting with a humble selection of smaller, more bite size 50g cakes including purple sweet potato flavor and honey peach flavor at a pocket friendly 59 RMB to a deluxe, beautifully packages monster selection with such delicacies as sharks fins going for a more princely sum of 999 RMB.
Dongzhimen Branch 东直门店View In Map
Add: 12 Beidajie, Dongzhimen, Dongxheng District, Beijing
Opening hours: Daily, 09:00-22:00
Legendale Hotel 北京励骏酒店 View In Map
There are many hotels across the city which have their own luxury signature mooncakes and mooncake box sets. Legendale hotel is one such hotel. On offer are four special boxed set presentation packs with varying themes: Shining Moon, Snow Moon, Crescent Moon and Autumn Moon. The presentation packs feature not only a variety of sweet, savory, but even spicy fillings including ham with mixed nuts, lotus paste with oolong tea, spicy beef, gold leaf coffee etc.
Legendale's mooncake box sets start at 198 RMB. More pricey options include autumn moon deluxe pack for 1088 RMB which features such goodies as coffee and imported Italian olive.
Add: 90-92 Jinbao Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8511 3388 ext. 8780
Opening hours: 10: 30 – 21:00 Till Sep 22nd
If this moon cake mania is all too much for you feel like eating something that is, perhaps, not a mooncake, then how about ice cream disguised as mooncakes? That’s right, ice cream moon cakes. Purveyors of luxury European ice cream at Haagen Dasz do exactly that. You don’t even have to rush home with them before they melt because the kind folks in the shop will even provide you with a dry ice filled bag to keep the ice frozen. The Rainbow Collection is a veritable feast of multicoloured ice-cream treats including the following flavours: strawberry, coffee, cookie, vanilla, cappuccino & truffle, mango, chocolate, blackberry, white chocolate and almond.
Dongzhimen Raffles City BranchView In Map
Add: 1F, Raffles City, Dongzhimen Nan Dajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-22:00
Wuyutai tea shop has mooncakes with a special traditional Chinese twist; almost all of their mooncakes are tea flavoured. Their ‘Blooming Palace’ box set contains eight sizeable 100g mooncakes for 368 RMB including egg and jasmine, oolong with candy fruit, white rose mooncake, jasmine smoothie mooncake, dark plum with green tea and cheese etc. Wuyutai’s mooncake presentation packs range in price from a 138 RMB to 468 RMB and are beautifully packaged. Moreover, the chain has stores all over the city, making for a great and convenient gift for tea loving friends. Wuyutai claim that when you eat their mooncakes it is a spiritual convening of the heart, earth and the soul. This maybe a grand claim but their tea flavoured cakes do taste pretty good and won’t break the bank.
Wangfujing BranchView In Map
Add: 186 Wangfujing Dajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
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Keywords: where to buy mooncakes Beijing Best mooncakes Beijing tastiest mooncakes Beijing finding moonckaes Beijing
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