Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mooncakes in San Francisco's Chinatown

After dim sum, the second addiction we encountered in Chinatown was the sweet bean paste filled Mooncake from the Eastern Bakery on Grant Street. This was the first Chinese bakery in Chinatown. Former president Bill Clinton ate a Mooncake here. A photograph taken in the bakery captures him munching down. After eating just one bite, we were at the bakery every day purchasing a Mooncake for the next mornings breakfast. We bought a wooden Mooncake mold and are determined to try making them ourselves. We were warned that it takes a lot of patience and practice to get them right. The Mooncakes we liked the best were filled with red bean paste. You have the option of buying them with or without a salty egg yolk baked in the center. The egg yolk set in the dark bean paste represents the full moon. The combination must be an acquired taste and not one that we warmed up to. We preferred the Mooncakes plain. The tops of the cakes are usually imprinted with a beautiful design of Chinese characters or symbols. We're not sure what ours read, but sometimes the characters represent longevity or harmony. See more about Mooncakes than you will ever want to know at wikipedia.

Now I think we are ready to go to China!

1 comment:

Camay said...

But the salty egg is the best part! There are more exotic? experimental? mooncakes, like ones made with black sesame and ones that are more like mochi. I had a mooncake last night and thought of you since I had found this blog (through Chean's). Also, I redid the wegner catalog. You can see that here, http://camayme.com/wegner.html