Durian anyone? Mooncakes in Honolulu for Moon Festival 2013




Clockwise from top left corner: green tea baked mooncake, "black sugar" or red bean paste, lotus paste, bing pi (mochi-wrapped) strawberry mooncake, mango, red bean with salted egg yolk

Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival. Which means, if you're in China, you might be regifting the dense, hockey puck-like sweets you received; if you're an environmentalist in Hong Kong you're lamenting the "excessive" packaging; if you're in Singapore, you've forsaken the traditional baked pastry with lotus paste and salted-egg-yolk filling for Haagen Dazs' ice cream mooncakes.

And the rest of us? Who actually like holiday sweets such as fruitcakes and mooncakes (if only for  tradition's sake)? We're lining up at Sing Cheong Yuan bakery, which makes more than twenty mooncake varieties, from the traditional baked ones with manju-like crusts to the trendier bing pi mooncakes, stuffed with fruit such as mango and even durian, wrapped in a super-thin layer of mochi. Popular ones are those with purple sweet potato, or the strawberry one, taking a cue from Japanese mochi-wrapped strawberries, perhaps. Whether pastry or mochi-wrapped, expect high filling-to-crust ratios.

1027 Maunakea St., 531-6688

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