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Mooncake season

Legend has it that back in the Yuan Dynasty, the Chinese revolutionaries planned to overthrow the Mongolian rulers by using mooncakes

Dolly Dy-Zulueta

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When I was a kid, I did not like mooncakes. I could not fathom why everyone made such a big fuss about the mooncake. I found it small and expensive. It tasted like a gourmet hopia with an egg yolk in the center. You cut a mooncake into four and just eat a slice because it is filling and, again, to emphasize my point, expensive. Tsinoy families (more of clans, actually!) would gather together to celebrate the
Mid-Autumn Festival, play the dice game, win prizes and feast on good food, culminating with mooncake.

I was not exactly a mooncake fan, but I was fascinated by the story behind it. Legend has it that back in the Yuan Dynasty, the Chinese revolutionaries planned to overthrow the Mongolian rulers of China by using mooncakes. They timed it during the Mid-Autumn Festival, circulating messages about the rebellion inside mooncakes. Thus, the Han Chinese revolt on the fifteenth day of the eight lunar month successfully overthrew the government and gave rise to the Ming Dynasty.

This legend, however, is just that — a legend, a folk tale, highly unlikely to be true.

What’s true is that the Mid-Autumn Festival continues to be celebrated with mooncakes to this day, thanks to the fact that the Chinese are present all over the world and that they bring their culture and traditions and live up to them no matter where they are.

Mooncakes have thus remained popular wherever a Chinese community thrives. These days, mooncakes have evolved with time, as they now come in different designs, complete with Chinese characters on the surface, to identify what kind of mooncakes they are. They are either round or square, with different fillings encapsulating single or double yolks of salted duck eggs and wrapped in either flaky, chewy or tender crust.

But not all mooncakes are created equal. As I have earlier mentioned, I did not like mooncakes when I was a kid, probably because my first tastes of mooncakes were those of inferior quality. So, I generalized mooncakes as something I did not enjoy eating. As a grown-up, I appreciated them more, especially since I got to taste some really special ones.

HongKong MX’s assorted bright mooncakes.

The good news is that one really special mooncake that is guaranteed to satisfy and completely change my — and your — general impression of mooncakes is now available in the Philippines, albeit for a limited time only. It is called Hong Kong MX Mooncake and it happens to be the best-selling mooncake brand in Hong Kong for 21 consecutive years. This is according to the 1998 to 2018 Nielsen Research Report on the Mooncake Market in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong MX Mooncakes are manufactured and distributed by Hong Kong Mei Xin, which has been delighting people with a wide variety of products, including premium mooncakes, since 1987. Everyone in Hong Kong agrees that it produces the best mooncakes, because people call in way before the Mid-Autumn Festival to preorder. They have to do this because if they wait for mooncake season to come in, Hong Kong MX Mooncakes would already be sold out and they have to settle for something less gratifying. The brand has become so sought-after that some unscrupulous individuals even make money from selling them at a much higher price in the black market. Tsinoys who have tasted them during a trip to Hong Kong use their connections to order a few mooncakes to enjoy during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

No need to do that this year, as Hong Kong MX Mooncakes reach out to mooncake lovers in Manila, coming just in time for the mooncake season to delight everyone via pop-up stores in SM Mall of Asia and Uni-Mart Capitol Commons. On a limited run, the pop-up stores are now open and will remain open until 22 September, selling the best-selling brand’s many delicious mooncake variants, including the classic Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake with 2 Yolks that Hong Kong MX has perfected, the mooncake that has brought fame to the brand. Special variations are also being made available, including the brand’s reduced sugar series, mixed nuts series and yolk series, and most especially its lava and custard mooncake series.

Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake with two egg yolks.

As an added treat, buyers who make their mooncake purchases at the SM Mall of Asia pop-up store get a chance to play a dice game at the booth for a possible prize, and those with a single receipt purchase amounting to P5,000 can also win a mini mooncake.

Hong Kong MX Mooncakes are also available for delivery through Lazada until 22 September. The first 100 buyers availing of this offer shall enjoy free shipping, and every single receipt purchase worth P5,000 entitles them to an additional mini mooncake.

LAVA Custard Mooncake.

More than just meeting the market’s demands for mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival, now also known as the Mooncake Festival, Hong Kong MX makes sure that everyone who buys and consumes their mooncakes get to enjoy real quality mooncakes down to the last bite. So, to preserve their seal of excellence, their mooncakes are meticulously prepared and, afterwards, undergo a stringent security check and authentication to ensure that each piece of mooncake that comes from their kitchen is only the best. The brand continues to offer classic and traditional mooncake variants that the market enjoys, and yet it also never stops coming up with new whimsical flavors the market may likewise appreciate.

Now that Hong Kong MX is extending its product line beyond Hong Kong, even for a limited time, via pop-ups, the Philippines gets to taste what the world perceives to be the number-one mooncake. Good for us!

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