It is the time of Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival) again. It happens on the August 15th using the lunar calendar, in other words, it is usually about the end of September. It is also called the mid-fall festival since it usually happens in the fall. This year, the moon festival is on Sept. 25 (this coming Tuesday).
The Moon festival is one of the three most important Chinese holidays besides the Chinese New Year and the Dragon Boat Festival. It has been celebrated since early 1300 before the Ming dynasty. It is also the time of the family reunion and the traffic is usually getting very busy. There are lots of legendary stories about the Moon Festival. The most famous one is about a queen who stole and ate the eternal life medicine from her cruel king husband and flew into the moon.
Besides the family reunion, moon cakes are the star of the holiday. Every store and bakery will put out boxes and boxes of moon cakes for sell. There are so many different kinds of flavors and crusts of the moon cakes to choose nowadays that even the most experienced food critics will have a hard time to choose.
Usually, I don't really like the sweet stuffs. However, I always have a sweet tooth of all the different kinds of moon cakes. My favorite is the pineapple flavor. The second is the red bean paste flavor. My least favorite ones are the moon cakes with salty egg yolk inside the fillings. It is really dry and not healthy anyway.
I always mail order the moon cakes from the Shengkee bakery in California. It was originally founded in Taiwan in 1964 and then opened up multiple chain stores in California around 1980. They only ship the fresh made moon cakes around the Moon festival. This year, I order 3 boxes of the moon cakes the Shengkee bakery again: one box of pineapple flavor, two boxes of assorted flavors (lotus, red bean, dates, plum, tea, walnut). They taste the best with a cup of hot tea. And that will my breakfast for the next 2 weeks!