In Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness. A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family. Round mooncakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky at the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The mooncake is not just a food. It's a profound cultural tradition deep in Chinese people's hearts, symbolizing a spiritual feeling. At Mid-Autumn Festival people eat mooncakes together with family, or present mooncakes to relatives or friends, to express love and best wishes.
Cantonese-Style Mooncakes — Sweet with Various Fillings
Cantonese-style mooncakes originate from Southeast China's Guangdong Province. The ingredients used in the fillings are various. The most used ingredients include lotus seed paste, melon seed paste, ham, chicken, duck, roast pork, mushrooms, and egg yolks. Cantonese-style mooncakes taste sweet.
Beijing-Style Mooncakes — Meticulous Decoration
This style is the typical variation in North China. It originated in Beijing and Tianjin. It features the delicate use of sweetness and meticulous decoration. The common proportion of pastry and filling for Beijing-style mooncakes is 4:6.
Suzhou-Style Mooncakes — Crisp Layers of Flaky Dough
Suzhou-style mooncakes (Su mooncakes for short) represent the Yangtze Delta region around Shanghai. Su mooncakes appeared more than a thousand years ago. They are well known throughout China for their layers of flaky pastry and generous allotment of sugar and lard. There are both sweet and savory Suzhou mooncakes.
Chaoshan-Style Mooncakes — Larger with Vegi-Paste
Chaoshan is a region of Guangdong in SE China where many ethnic Chinese in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand come from. Chaoshan-style mooncakes have a distinct crust. They are larger than most other mooncakes. The most commonly used fillings are mung bean paste, and black bean and potato paste.
Yunnan-Style Mooncakes — Ham and Flower Fillings
The two most famous Yunnan-style mooncakes are ham mooncakes and flower mooncakes.
Ham mooncakes are delicious with fillings of diced ham and sweet honey. The flavor are both sweet and a little bit salty.
Flowers are popular in Yunnan as cake fillings. Fresh roses or other edible flowers are wrapped in the pastry skin of flower mooncakes.
Hong-Kong-Style Mooncakes — Ice-Skin
Ice-skin mooncakes were first popular among Hong Kongers. The skin of the mooncakes is not made of ice. They got this name because their skins are white, and are not baked in an oven, but stored in a refrigerator instead.