Over the moon with mooncakes

Published September 2, 2021, 7:00 PM

by Marie Buenaventura

Where to get the best this Mid-Autumn Festival

Like many Chinese food tied to celebrations, mooncake isn’t just a great-tasting delicacy. It’s a symbol. For the Chinese, the mooncake represents love and togetherness within a family, which is why, traditionally, the second biggest celebration (after Chinese New Year) sees people from all parts of the world coming together and celebrating during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Mooncakes were meant to be eaten while looking at and appreciating the harvest moon, the roundest and the fullest of the year. Full, round moon means, in Chinese belief, blessings. The holiday dates back more than 3,000 years to the Northern Song Dynasty in China.

There are various origin tales for the holiday, but most of them center on the love story between the beautiful goddess Chang’e and her husband, a renowned archer named Hou Yi. The story tells how Yi saved the mortal world when 10 suns unexpectedly rose over the sky one year. The archer shot down nine of those suns, earning him an elixir of immortality from Xi Wangmu, the immortal queen mother of the west. Instead of taking it, however, he chose to stay in the mortal world with his love, and gave the potion to Chang’e, who kept it in her possession.

Knowing of this elixir, Yi’s apprentice Feng Meng broke into the couple’s home while his master was hunting. When he forced Chang’e to give him the potion, she refused and swallowed it, flying off to the sky. Because she didn’t want to be far from her husband, she chose to live on the moon. When Yi returned home and learned of the events that had transpired, the heartbroken husband offered fruits and cakes in their yard to memorialize his wife. When people learned what happened, they too decided to worship the moon each year on the anniversary of these events, on the 15th day of the eighth month, when the moon was at its brightest and fullest.

Thousands of years later, we enjoy them with family—or because it’s the pandemic, enjoying them separately.

Here are some of the best mooncakes to enjoy on your own, or better yet as a gift to your loved ones to tell them you’re thinking of them in these hard times.

Kee Wah Bakery

As the Filipino-Chinese community gears up for the annual Mid-Autumn festival, which will take place on Sept. 21, families can enjoy the traditional and innovative taste of premium, authentic mooncakes from Kee Wah Bakery for the first time.

From a small neighborhood grocery store on Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei in 1938 to a bakery in the 1940s, Kee Wah Bakery created quality pastries that boast of the modern and authentic taste of Hong Kong’s rich heritage. Today, growing to become a celebrated household name when it comes to authentic Chinese snacks, Kee Wah has more than 100 stores across Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, United States, and the Philippines.

INTRICATE LOOKS, DELICATE FLAVORS Close up of the Kee Wah Bakery mooncake

In the past year, Kee Wah Bakery brought its signature premium pastries to the Philippines.

In 1946, Kee Wah produced its first mooncake. Despite modern innovations in bakery production, Kee Wah’s core ethos remains unchanged—“to pour our heart and soul into everything we make.” Committed to using only the finest ingredients, Kee Wah ensures that every bite holds true to its legacy of quality.

The Kee Wah Supreme Mooncakes come in Kee Wah Bakery’s signature tin can decorated with a classic emperor’s portrait, signifying sovereignty, the supreme theme of Kee Wah Bakery’s Mooncake. The high-quality lotus seed paste made from the best selected lotus seeds, premium peanut oil, and top-grade salted egg yolks create a smooth, fragrant, and enjoyable taste. It’s available in White Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake with Two Yolks and Golden Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake that both come in 185g/pc, four pieces/tin for ₱3,400 each.

It also has mini variants, with each mooncake weighing around 60g. Score the Mini Golden Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake with Yolk and Mini White Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake with Yolk at 60g/px, eight pcs/box for ₱2,100 each.

Other flavors are also available such as Red Bean Paste Mooncake, Assorted Nuts Mooncake, and Red Bean Paste Mooncake.

On the other hand, the Kee Wah Celestial Series Mooncakes come in a sumptuous selection of sweet and savory flavors. Inspired by the heavens, each gift box is packaged in an ethereal cloud or moon design.

With varieties to choose from, Kee Wah’s extensive range of mooncakes offers something for everyone. From long-established staples like our classic Golden Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake to more novel creations such as the Eu Yan Sang Red Bean Paste Mooncake with Mandarin Peel, Kee Wah continues to honor our heritage while looking ahead toward a future of delicious possibilities.

As part of its innovation, Kee Wah Supreme Mooncakes also offers a lower calorie version of its classic mooncakes, made with natural sugar substitute, maltitol.

As Kee Wah customers’ tastes continue to change and evolve, Kee Wah takes great joy in discovering new flavors to add to its ever-growing range of mooncakes. Going beyond tradition and the quintessential lotus seed paste filling, Kee Wah’s line of Egg Custard Mooncakes are smooth and sweet egg custard baked inside crispy golden pastry, a delectable blend of Eastern and Western sensibilities.

Enjoy free delivery within Metro Manila for every ₱6,000 worth of order via Facebook, Instagram, Metromart, and Pickaroo until Sept. 21, 2021. www.keewahproductsphilippines.com.

Hong Kong MX

Hong Kong’s bestselling mooncake and pastry brand, Hong Kong MX is back with its well-loved mooncake flavors and new, exciting ones in time for this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 21. All mooncakes are 100 percent made and imported from Hong Kong, guarantee only the best quality and will surely leave some great memories of celebration during this time of the year.

A Hong Kong MX Mooncake Original, Lava Custard Mooncake utilizes the unique double-baked technique, which folds pre-baked crushed golden egg yolk-laced creamy custard paste into layers of milky crust for a perfect fusion of aromas and textures. The perfect blend of silky custard and savory egg yolks that flows from the core offer a rich molten experience to customers. The flavor now comes in new and refreshing packaging. Last year, with its highly anticipated return for the festivities this year, the brand added the Lava Quartet Mooncake, Lava Duet Mooncake, and Delightful Moon Assorted Mooncakes to the family alongside the Lava Custard Mooncake set.

There are various ways to enjoy your Lava Mooncakes, each bringing out the different delicious qualities of this delectable treat. One recommendation is to cut the mooncake open at room temperature to enjoy the aromatic lava interior as it is. Alternatively, heat the mooncake in a microwave oven (1000w) for five to 10 seconds, then cut it open to reveal the half-molten golden custard filling flowing gently from the core. For an even richer experience, heat them in a microwave oven (1000w) for five to eight seconds, and the sweetness and crispiness of the mooncake will increase tenfold.

Hong Kong MX also launches a special tumbler gift box series featuring everyone’s favorite minions, Stuart and Dave. The Stuart mooncake gift box features eyes that will move along the chubby tumbler and goggles that light up, bringing to life the mischievous side of this beloved character. The Dave mooncake gift box also gets a tumbler makeover, spotting a playful expression that’s begging you to attempt flipping him over and similar goggles that light up. You’ll find Hong Kong MX’s new Purple Sweet Potato Mooncake hidden within his body—a refreshing new variant of the festive treat, just as smooth but with a subtle hint of sweetness.

FOR TTHE KIDS MX Minions Dave and Stuart mooncakes

This year, Hong Kong MX combines the popular molten dessert technique with traditional mooncakes for a revolutionary treat. Introducing the brand-new Lace Lotus Paste Mooncake, a hybrid of aromas, flavors, textures, and a fun eating experience as you tear each mooncake apart with your hands. Enjoy this leading-edge product with quality salted egg-yolk filling, smooth white lotus seed paste, and a skin with crushed caramelized peanuts presented in a pristine format for a multi-dimensional experience

For those who have a sweet tooth but would want to switch to a healthier lifestyle, Hong Kong MX offers low-sugar variants, which make use of sugar substitutes so everyone can still enjoy a mooncake treat without ever having to worry about their health.

MOON SHARDS Delightful moon assorted mooncake

Hong Kong MX Mooncakes has produced numerous high-quality delicacies that earned the brand countless international recognitions, solidifying its achievements in the catering industry. Since 2005, HKMX Mooncakes has been consecutively awarded the Belgian Monde Selection Quality Award, an honor that rivals Michelin. The brand’s signature Lava Custard Mooncake and Creamy Custard Mooncake is given the Gold Medals in the Food Products category again this year.

Hong Kong MX mooncakes are available on different channels such as Facebook: Hong Kong MX Products Philippines; IG @hkmxproductsph; Lazada/Shopee | Hong Kong MX Products Phils; GrabFood | Hong Kong MX Bakery (multiple locations); Pickaroo | Hong Kong MX (multiple locations); MetroMart | Pop-up locations: SM Mall of Asia, Greenhills V Mall, Robinson’s Manila, Uptown BGC, Ayala Cloverleaf

Manila Marriott

Invite prosperity and unity in celebration of the auspicious Mid-Autumn Festival with a handcrafted delicacy! This year’s mooncake in a soft and golden brown skin is individually packed and elegantly arranged in a red box with gold stamping. Aside from the whole salted duck egg at the center, flavors of the filling vary from Wu Ren Yue Bing (Cantonese mooncake with pecans, walnuts, cashews, toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and Jin Huan ham), Coconut, Red Lotus Paste, and White Lotus Paste. There are eight Mooncake Chests available with options for four or six mooncakes with Chinese Tea, a bottle of wine, or Man Ho’s Signature Candied Walnuts. It is customary for businessmen and families to gift mooncakes to clients or relatives as presents.

The Mooncake Chest starts at ₱2,988, nett which includes four mooncakes. A 50ml bottle of whisky may also be included with additional rate starting at ₱520 nett.

Orders must be placed 48 hours in advance. Available for pickup and take-away. Delivery fee is based on location or can be arranged thru the customer’s chosen courier.

Call (0917) 624-5980 or visit the hotel’s social media accounts in FB, IG, and Twitter @ManilaMarriott. Be updated and join their Viber Community at Make it Marriott. www.manilamarriott.com 

Edsa Shangri-La

Usher in the auspicious Mid-Autumn Festival with Edsa Shangri-La, Manila’s highly anticipated Over the Moon, Mooncake Collection 2021 by Summer Palace. A variety of signature baked mooncakes crafted from the finest ingredients are now available until Sept. 21, 2021, for pickup at the hotel and for delivery. Choose from six delightful flavors—the renowned white lotus mooncake, a divine handmade delicacy featuring the deluxe lotus paste filling with salted egg wrapped in a thin golden-brown crust, imprinted with Chinese characters for harmony and longevity, other delectable flavors include red bean, mixed nuts, durian, green tea, and black sesame.

Celebrate the season with great joy with these luminous mooncakes, which comes with a specially designed premium gift box, making it a perfect gift to send your loved ones. Price starts at ₱1,688+ per box, also available per piece at ₱388+ for mini mooncakes and ₱588+ for a single traditional mooncake. 

Enjoy up to 25 percent savings on bulk orders. For orders of 50 boxes and more, get complimentary delivery to one location within Ortigas, Mandaluyong, Greenhills, The Fort, and Makati area. Call (632) 8633 8888 or email [email protected]. You may also order directly through https://edsashangrilafoodhub.beepit.com.