September 8 2014 by Stasia Fong
Mid-Autumn Festival is here and mooncakes are changing hands faster than a minibus driver changes lanes. As your collection grows, you may be wondering what you were given and should you eat it or re-gift it quickly before the holiday is over.
To help you out, Lee Xin Li, an architecture student at the National University of Singapore, created a wonderful illustrated guide to mooncakes.
Having previously created an illustrated series of traditional ‘kueh’ (cakes) in Southeast Asia, Lee thought it was timely to take on this project in time for Mid-Autumn festival. Fuelled by his curiosity to discover more about the various shapes and colours of mooncakes, Lee researched several types, including Cantonese, Snowskin, Taiwanese, and many more.
While researching for his piece, Lee discovered several interesting mooncake qualities ranging from the different dough used to similarities in style.
“The Hainanese Qiong-style mooncake is a hybrid of Cantonese-style and Suzhou-style mooncakes. Hainanese Qiong-shi mooncakes combine the flaky dough of Suzhou-style mooncakes with the sweet dough of Cantonese-style mooncakes. Qiong, “琼”is the abbreviation of Hainan, hence the named Qiong-style mooncakes,” Lee explains.
Despite the quirky flavours out there, Lee agrees with Team Localiiz that a traditional Cantonese mooncake wins hands down.
“A good old baked mooncake with egg yolks is my favourite,” Lee says. “I had a friend who gifted me a beautiful box of mooncakes by Maxims. It was the first time someone ever gave me a box of mooncakes and I still keep the box with me.”
Lee hopes his work is a reminder that Mid-Autumn festival is about more than mooncakes (except maybe to the foodies!). He stresses that this is an opportunity to get together with friends and family above all.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival from Team Localiiz!
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