Sharing mooncakes is a great way to celebrate Mid-Autumn festival traditional Chinese festival with family and friends. On the actual day of Mid Autumn Festival, which falls on 1st October 2020, family and friends will gather together.
The children will lit lanterns and play in the night, observing the brightest, roundest moon. Most will use electronic lanterns, with lights and sounds, while others will use traditional paper lanterns and candles. (Play safe with your kids, as paper lanterns tend to catch fire easily).
How do you eat mooncakes?
You cut the mooncakes into quarters or eight small pieces and you share it with friends and relatives after dinner to enjoy your mid-autumn festival. And you savour the mooncakes with delicate teas or nice wines.
We love to gather and eat mooncakes and chill and chat about the year, this year no doubts topic would be heavy on covid19, circuit breaker, and how the new norm of wearing masks and social distancing.
As both snowskin mooncakes and traditional mooncakes are dense and dry, we love to pair it with drinks, well, what type of drinks go well with mooncakes?
What kind of drink goes best with mooncakes?
If you are traditional and prefer non-alcohol, Chinese tea is your first choice. There are, however, many types of Chinese tea, which type goes well with your mooncake? We will suggest a few tea-mooncakes pairing here. If you like your wine, there are a few wine and mooncake pairings we will recommend below.
Tea with Mooncake
- Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake with Oolong or Pu-er
- Snowskin mooncake with Red Tea or Tie Guan Yin
- Red Bean Mooncake with White Tea or Oolong
- Mung Bean (or Green Bean) mooncakes with White peony or Jasmine Tea
- Nutty (or seeds) mooncakes with Pu’er or Red Tea
Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake (莲子糊) (Traditional baked mooncake)
To be best paired with Oolong or raw Pu’er. This is the most common mooncakes that is enjoyed in Singapore, a traditional pastry. It is immensely sweet and usually comes with salted duck egg yolks, so the saltiness of the yolk contrasts with the sweetness of the lotus paste.
This sweetness and salty combination will be paired well with fresh tone of a pu’er or the earthy tone of a oolong tea.
Snowskin Mooncakes (雪皮月饼)
Snowskin mooncakes are popular in Singapore and usually with different innovative fillings, such as the hot favourite, durian paste, usually of the mao shan wang durian paste.
Other innovative paste such as champagne truffle mooncake by Raffles Hotel, Awfully chocolate mooncakes (full of chocolate, of course) or even Oreo mooncakes. There are others in between, such as green tea mooncakes, that strikes a balance between traditional and fusion cuisine.
If you are having snowskin that has strong distinct flavours such as durian or chocolate mooncake, go for red tea.
If you are having lighter snowskin with the traditional lotus seed, or green tea, go for lighter tea such as Tie Guan Yin.
Red Bean Mooncakes (or 红豆)
Red beans filling is slightly less sweet than lotus seed, and has a more nutty and savoury feel.
You can pair with white tea such as silver needle white tea, that helps to bring out the nutty feel of the red bean mooncakes.
Mung Bean or Green beans mooncake (绿豆)
Mung bean, or more commonly known as “Green beans”, together with red beans, are two popular flavours. Mung beans are commonly used in traditional pastries or desserts such as green bean soup. (There are also red beans soup, and both are popular).
Similar to red bean, you can pair with white tea, or white peony tea to balance out the sweetest. Jasmine tea is a good pairing for this mooncake
Nutty mooncakes or Five Kernel mooncakes
For health-conscious people, mooncakes with nuts and seeds are a good way to have your dessert healthily. There are also nutty mooncakes that are vegan, with no eggs nor any animal products.
Nutty mooncakes are earthy and full of flavours, you need strong tea such as red tea or pu’er to enjoy the pairing.
What about pairing of wines with mooncakes?
Now for the not-so-traditional pairing, for those who love their alcohol, you know who you are, you may experiment with these wines.
Traditional Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake with red wine
Traditional baked mooncakes match elegantly with young pinot noir, or red wine
Traditional mooncakes are dense, rich, and sweet, so young pinot noir with more fruity and refreshing and soft tannins will help to balance the sweetness.
On the other hand, you can also consider trying aged red wine or port, so that the wine does not overwhelmed the full flavour of the mooncakes, which should be the highlight.
If you are having salted duck egg yolks in your mooncakes, you can pair it with fizzy champagne. The champagne works well with the sweetness of the lotus seed, and yet the effervescence helps with the savoury palate of the egg yolk.
Snowskin durian mooncakes
If you love durian mooncakes like the maoshanwang variety, then you can try pairing with fruity wines. Fruity wines are refreshing with the bittersweet flavours and creamy mouth-feel of durian mooncakes.
You can try dry sparkling wines that also strikes a tone with the bittersweet of durian mooncakes.
Trying many mooncakes at a go?
Go for sweet wine for most mooncakes
Sweet wine helps to pair with most types of mooncakes. Mooncakes are sweet, and sweet wine does not taste as sweet once your taste gets used to the immense richness of the mooncake. And the beauty of sweet wines is that they not only gel properly with the sweet mooncakes, it also pair well with the salty egg yolks and the chewy skin pastry.
And champagne always works well, even for mooncakes.
Champagne works well with mooncakes, as they match well with the smooth, silky paste (for lotus, or for smooth mung bean, red beans, chocolate, pumpkin etc) and the chewy pastry skin.
The effervescence of champagne helps to relieve and refresh after having some of these dense mooncakes.
Above all, champagnes are always crowd’s pleasers.
If you want to read more, go on and click for the best mooncakes of 2020 here.