Yunnan Style Mooncake Pastries for Mid Autumn Festival in Yunnan
September is when the Chinese traditional Middle Autumn Festival takes place, which means a lot for the Chinese families to reunite. In the festive ambience of the Middle Autumn Festival, visitors to Kunming (Yunnan) will have a good opportunity for tasting assorted moon cakes and pastries.
The material for making rose pied pastries is the edible roses special to Yunnan. Thanks to the mild climate, Yunnan tops other places of China for roses. It is said that Yunnan rose pied pastries were once praised by Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty about 300 years ago and was chosen as a special dessert in the imperial court. In Bajie Town of Anning in the west of Kunming, there are rose plantations for making rose delicacies including pastries which are available all the year round as many travellers to Kunming know these fragrant pastries are the authentic local produce.
Among the Yunnan style moon cakes, the ham-pied enjoy a wide popularity in China. This is partly because Yunnan’s climate is suitable for curing hams. The story of the ham-pied moon cakes can date back to the period of the Republic of China (1912-1949) and the producer at that time was the Hexianglou Workshop (in Kunming) which specilised in Han nationality pastries. As the best seller among moon cakes in Kunming today, the ham-pied moon cakes are either decent festival gifts or for locals to enjoy themselves.
Moon cake is one of the most famous Chinese traditional cakes，a traditional food of Mid-Autumn Festival. The shape of moon cake is round, and usually for the whole family eat, symbolizing unity and perfection.
It is said that the custom of eating moon cakes in the Mid-Autumn Festival since the Tang Dynasty. When the Northern Song Dynasty was popular in the royal palace, and then spread among the people. In Ming Dynasty, eat moon cake in Mid-Autumn Festival is become a common eating habit. Moon cakes are combined with local eating habits and then developed many different flavors such as Cantonese style, Beijing style, Su style and Yunnan style.
Yunnan style moon cake use the best part of xuanwei ham, cut it into small cubes, and mix with honey, lard, white sugar to make the filling. And for the pastry part, it use purple wheat flour from Chenggong District. Yunnan style moon cake tastes crisp, soft, and tightly baked, making it more and more popular. Its appearance is brownish yellow and slightly hard. When you eat it, the crisp and soft texture will not break, it also called “hard crust ham moon cake”.
According to different clients, many new kinds of moon cakes are baked, including sugar-free and fruits-pied which are friendly to people even with diabetes.
Where to buy?
In the outlets of supermarkets like Carrefour and Wal-Mart in the city of Kunming, many kinds of moon cakes are available; and many bakeries like the Joy Bakery and Bread Works have very nice moon cakes for sale.