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PHNO TRAVEL & LIFESTYE (FOOD)
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports)

SOL JOSE VANZI's  LIFESTYLE & FOOD PAGE THIS WEEK

FEATURING HER 'TIMPLA'T TIKIM' (Manila Bulletin)
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

THOROUGHLY MODERN MOONCAKES
[We’re over the moon with these tasty treats]


AUGUST 25 -Chef Sun Bing at the Mooncake Booth /Manila Bulletin
Mooncakes, which are usually given as gifts to family, friends, and associates, have been eaten in China for centuries. One legend has it that in the 14th century, they were even used as a tool to foment rebellion—the Han Chinese were said to have hidden messages in mooncakes urging their compatriots to join a rebellion against their Mongol rulers. Sort of like Jose Rizal smuggling his farewell poem Mi Ultimo Adios inside a gas lamp given to his sister hours before his execution. Mooncakes are imprinted with intricate patterns and traditionally filled with sweet pastes such as lotus seed, beans, and salted duck egg yolks. They are rich in flavor, high in fat and sugar, and usually eaten in small wedges, accompanied by tea. Mooncakes are served while celebrating the mid-autumn festival, when friends gather to admire the harvest moon. READ MORE...

ALSO: How Mid-Autumn Festival Began


AUGUST 25 -The Mid-Autumn Festival has a history of over 3,000 years, dating back to moon worship in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC). It‘s such an important festival that many poems were written about it, stories and legends on the festival are widespread, and its origins have been guessed at and explained by generations of Chinese. Mid-Autumn Festival HistoryMid-Autumn Festival Stories How the Chinese Celebrate Mid-Autumn Many traditional and meaningful celebrations are held in most households in China and China's neighboring countries, like having dinner with family, admiring the full moon, eating mooncakes, and lighting up kongming lanterns. Mid-Autumn Festival Greetings Mid-Autumn Festival Traditions READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Thoroughly modern Mooncakes
[We’re over the moon with these tasty treats]


Chef Sun Bing at the Mooncake Booth /Manila Bulletin

Images by Noel Pabalate

MANILA, AUGUST 29, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi August 25, 2016 - Mooncakes, which are usually given as gifts to family, friends, and associates, have been eaten in China for centuries. One legend has it that in the 14th century, they were even used as a tool to foment rebellion—the Han Chinese were said to have hidden messages in mooncakes urging their compatriots to join a rebellion against their Mongol rulers. Sort of like Jose Rizal smuggling his farewell poem Mi Ultimo Adios inside a gas lamp given to his sister hours before his execution.

Mooncakes are imprinted with intricate patterns and traditionally filled with sweet pastes such as lotus seed, beans, and salted duck egg yolks. They are rich in flavor, high in fat and sugar, and usually eaten in small wedges, accompanied by tea. Mooncakes are served while celebrating the mid-autumn festival, when friends gather to admire the harvest moon.

READ MORE...


Thoroughly modern Mooncakes Mooncakes come in oriental boxes /Manila Bulletin

My great grandmother, a Hakka, would probably not recognize the mooncakes sold around the world today. She grew up knowing nothing but the traditional amber-colored round disk filled with sweet bean paste and the yolk of preserved salted duck egg.

Mooncakes are a necessary part of the annual Chinese mid-autumn festival. In China, weeks before the mid-autumn festival, or Moon Festival, this iconic holiday food is everywhere.

Grocery stores, drug stores, and department stores sell decorative boxes full of the cakes, each wrapped in its own brightly colored tin or wrapper; street vendors sell them from the backs of vans or pile them up on folding tables.


Snow Skin Mooncake in Red Bean, Chocolate, Purple Yam, Green Tea, Orange, and Mango Flavors /Manila Bulletin

The cakes are made from pastry dough, filled with sweet lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste, chopped nuts, or dried fruits. Some add a salted duck egg yolk at the center to symbolize the full harvest moon.

For centuries, the color and flavors of mooncakes stuck to tradition. And with the passing of time, the new generations yearned for change.

It was inevitable that the winds of change would eventually reach the most venerable institutions and traditions, including the mooncake. In China’s big cities, new and innovative versions of the traditional mooncake have become tremendously popular. Ironically, the new sweets come from American chain stores.


Roast pork dumplings in adorable chick shapes /Manila Bulletin

Haagen-Dazs, Dairy Queen, TCBY, and Starbucks have all introduced their own versions of the holiday tradition to popular demand. Haagen-Dazs’ chocolate-covered ice cream mooncakes and Starbucks’ versions in flavors like green tea-toffee-cheesecake and espresso-milk chocolate have become popular in cities like Shanghai and Beijing.


Crispy prawns with almonds /Manila Bulletin

Here in the Phiippines, both traditional and modern mooncakes are painstakingly homemade by the Manila Hotel’s executive Chinese chef Sun Bing as the Grand Dame observes the mid-autumn festival from Aug. 16 to Sept. 16. He makes them in thin soft pastry skin or snow skin, and in natural, organic flavors—red bean, chocolate, purple yam, green tea, orange, and mango.

In Chinese culture, mooncakes symbolize completeness, togetherness, and a reunion for the whole family. The perfect gifts to family and friends to express love and best wishes, these delicacies are packaged beautifully in oriental gift boxes.


FROM CHINESE HIGHLIGHTS ONLINE

How Mid-Autumn Festival Began

The Mid-Autumn Festival has a history of over 3,000 years, dating back to moon worship in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC). It‘s such an important festival that many poems were written about it, stories and legends on the festival are widespread, and its origins have been guessed at and explained by generations of Chinese.

Mid-Autumn Festival History

Mid-Autumn Festival Stories

How the Chinese Celebrate Mid-Autumn

Many traditional and meaningful celebrations are held in most households in China and China's neighboring countries, like having dinner with family, admiring the full moon, eating mooncakes, and lighting up kongming lanterns.

Mid-Autumn Festival Greetings

Mid-Autumn Festival Traditions

READ MORE...

Mid-Autumn Festival Facts

Name in Chinese: 中秋节 Zhongqiujie /jong-chyoh-jyeah/
Importance: the second most important (traditional) Chinese Festival after Chinese New Year
Date: September or October
Popular food: mooncakes
Celebrations: admiring the full moon, eating mooncakes
Origin: A harvest festival with origins in moon worship.
History: Over 3,000 years
Greetings: The simplest is "Happy Mid-Autumn Festival" (中秋快乐).
Read more on Mid-Autumn Festival facts.

Mooncakes — the Must-Eat Mid-Autumn Treat

Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries eaten to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The festival typically involves much giving, receiving, and eating of mooncakes.

Chinese mooncakes are the traditional dessert/snack of Mid-Autumn Festival. They are round in shape, like the full harvest moon of Mid-Autumn’s evening. Up to 10 cm (4 inches) wide and 5 cm (2 inches) deep, most mooncakes consist of a pastry skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling.

Mooncakes are usually eaten in small wedges, and shared by family members, generally with Chinese tea.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a family celebration and some families go out on special moon-viewing outings to parks and scenic spots in their cities.

China Highlights' Mid-Autumn Festival tours allow you to have an authentic Moon Festival experience as the Chinese people do. If you happen to be in China, the best places to go for Mid-Autumn atmosphere are in the following cities:

Mid-Autumn Festival in BeijingBeijing
Mid-Autumn Festival in Shanghai Shanghai
Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong Hong Kong
Mid-Autumn Festival in Hanghzou Hangzhou
Mid-Autumn Festival in Guangzhou Guangzhou
Mid-Autumn Festival in Shenzhen Shenzhen
Shops and Department Stores Have Mid-Autumn Sales

It is a tradition for Chinese people to visit and give gifts to friends and relatives during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Therefore, shops and department stores always seize the opportunity to promote sales. They prepare decorations, entertainment, and promotional activities to attract customers weeks before.

Good discounts and special offers for some goods can be found in most department stores and shops during the festival.

How Mid-Autumn Is Celebrated in China's Neighboring Countries

In many of China's neighboring nations Mid-Autumn is widely celebrated. Many interesting activities with unique local features are held.

Japan
Vietnam
Singapore
Malaysia
The Philippines
South Korea


SOL JOSE VANZI's PHNO PAGE


Photo from Kyle Victor Jose's iPAD
Lifestyle/Food and Arts & Culture columnist of the Manila Daily Bulletin.
Signature title "Timpla't Tikim" EVERY THURSDAY OF THE WEEK.
http://www.mb.com.ph/lifestyle/


Sol in 1997 Photo: PHNO Editor/Travel & Leisure page
http://www.newsflash.org/staff/solvanzi.htm


Photo of Sol and young Kyle Victor Jose in March 2005 at PHNO/QCNet
office in Levitown, Paranaque. Photoshot by Leo Q. Carolino.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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