Saturday, September 17, 2016

Happy Chinese Harvest Moon Festival...

Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Cake, Harvest Moon or Lantern Festival is one of the most important annual festivals for the Chinese people including the Vietnamese, and dates back over 3500 years. Held on the 15th day of the eighth month on the Chinese calendar, the festival is held to celebrate the harvest as well as to worship the moon. Moon cakes are eaten and exchanged as gifts because they symbolize the roundness of the moon. Families gather to attend big lantern parades and exhibitions. They join to light their lanterns and enjoy the sight of the full moon together. And of course celebrate over a dinner feast. Moon cakes have a distinctive chrysanthemum pattern, embossed Chinese characters and are filled with a myriad of variations from red adzuki bean, date, chestnut or lotus paste. The prized ones include a salted duck egg yolk and sometimes two. 

Happy Chinese Harvest Moon Festival with a different kind of sweet and pretty moon cake-- dried fruit jellies (pineapple & peach and blueberries & black currant) encased in mochi (glutinous rice cake). Fruity and delicious!

Isabelle Gifts from Taiwan

Harvest moon festival dinner at my parents with the whole family and some incredible guests. It is such a privilege to honour tradition and food culture with others trying some new foods for their first time. My brother's son's friends and their mother joined us at this fabulous gathering and they really liked-- coming back for seconds! My mom made a few dishes and the meats were bought at a Chinese deli shop.

From top left to right clockwise: Bitter melon and egg omelet, roasted BBQ duck, 
steamed chicken with ginger and onion oil condiment, Chinese greens, BBQ pork, 
Chinese broccoli, more roasted duck and braised shiitake mushrooms with sea cucumber.

Where ever you are celebrating this great moon festival, enjoy your time with family and friends!

Traditional moon cake with adzuki bean paste.

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