Mooncakes are the traditional delicacy for the Mid-Autumn Festival, where round mooncakes resemble the full moon and is a symbol of family reunion and completeness in traditional Chinese culture. We say “yuan yuan man man” which means ‘round and abundant’.
Over at Taiwan, it seems that two things have caught the waves – barbecue and pineapple cakes. According to the Taiwanese, several barbecue sauce companies were promoting in in markets and organized fairs their barbecue-related products just before the Mid-Autumn festivals, and barbecue eventually became a Mid-Autumn festival custom as important as eating mooncakes in Taiwan.
Also, pineapple cakes used to be round in shape as bakeries made pineapple jams to be wrapped in huge round dough. These are usually eaten during Mid-autumn or engagement parties, given as a symbol of love.
Its popularity increased, and bakeries eventually changed the round pineapple cakes into little rectangular ones to resemble “golden bricks”, which really means prosperity. Money come money come.
Some bakeries add white gourd to pineapple cakes because it balances off the sour taste of the pineapple jam, and has a cooling effect according to Chinese medicine. But avoid those that replace pineapple completely with winter melon, or just add pineapple essence for fragrance!
The pineapple cakes, with buttery crust and sweet paste within, have been nearly widespread for one hundred years in Taiwan. The wave seems to have caught on over at Singapore, and the most popular pineapple brand here should be SunnyHills. I have personally seen how SunnyHills has ‘grown’ from a small kiosk to a full-fledged shop at Raffles Hotel. (Read: When SunnyHills was still a kiosk)
To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, SunnyHills’ pineapple cakes will be packaged in a Mid-Autumn gift box and tote bag which features the symbolic “Jade Rabbit” and full moon, and are available in boxes of 10, 15 or 20 pieces, at $25, $37.50 and S$50 respectively.
You may want to send some “golden bricks” to your loved ones, plus the bunny tote bag is really quite cute.
My concern is that some Singaporeans still prefer to receive the traditional lotus mooncakes instead of the fancier options. What do you think?
SunnyHills Singapore 微熱山丘
328 North Bridge Road, #03-05 Raffles Hotel Arcade (Cityhall MRT), Singapore, Tel: +65 8522 9605
Opening Hours: Tue–Sat: 11am – 8pm, Sun: 11am – 3pm
Also available at Takashimaya Square Mid Autumn Festival Special