Five local mooncakes put to taste challenge

Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 15 this year. Today, the Guide is shifting format to compare and contrast mooncakes from around the city. 


Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 15 this year. As the date approaches, stores and restaurants around China will be selling mooncakes, a snack long associated with the festival. But who is offering the best of these traditional treats? Today, the Guide is shifting format to compare and contrast mooncakes from around the city. Shanghai Daily’s very own Sophie Wang puts meat-stuffed cakes from five time-honored brands to the test.

Meat-stuffed mooncakes from five time-honored brands in Shanghai

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Tools: An electronic scale, a knife

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Criteria: Net weight, meat weight and proportion of meat

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First, weigh the mooncake to get its net weight.

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Second, cut open it to get the meat.



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Third, weigh the meat.

Last, eat it and judge the taste!

From the test, we have got the following data:

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Now we can find out whether these mooncakes are worth buying. However, what about their flavors? Let's see more details about the stores.

Shanghai First Food Hall

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Skin: soft

Flavor: sweet

Price: 4.5 yuan (US$0.7)

As one of the most famous food emporiums in the city, it sells not only mooncakes, but also a wide variety of traditional local snacks and specialties.

The mooncakes here have high quality and reasonably price. Stuffed with black pork, the mooncakes taste fresh and fragrant. They are suitable for all ages thanks to their soft skins.

There are also mooncakes stuffed with shrimp, egg yolk and sweetened bean paste.

Laodafang

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Skin: thin and crispy

Flavor: sweet and salty

Price: 4.5 yuan

Opened 80 years ago, it now has its own uniquely flavored mooncakes. The meat inside is thick, lean and has a well-balanced flavor. As the mooncakes here are comparatively small, you may have to indulge in two or three to fully experience their flavors.

The store’s butter cakes and butterfly cookies are also quite famous.

Shendacheng

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Skin: thick and soft

Flavor: juicy

Price: 4 yuan (US$0.6)

This Shanghai restaurant has more than 130 years of history. Besides the mooncakes, pastries like sweet green rice balls and peachshaped buns are also popular among local people. The mooncakes here are noticeably bigger than those found elsewhere, and the meat inside is rich and juicy.

This year they’re offering a new spicy mooncake stuffed with crawfish meat.

Dafugui Restaurant

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Skin: thick and crispy

Flavor: salty

Price: 4 yuan

Opened in 1880s, this restaurant is well-known for its splendid breakfast selection. In contrast, the mooncakes here are somewhat less distinguished. Not only are the mooncakes sold here smaller than most, they also include less meat than usual. With their thick skins and salty taste, these mooncakes rank near the bottom of those we tasted.


Sanyang Food Store

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Skin: crispy

Flavor: salty

Price: 4 yuan

This old food shop has a large selection of traditional snacks, pastries and braised foods. Their meat-stuffed mooncakes are a little salty and greasy, while the skins are quite glutinous.

Another highlight here is the seaweedstuffed mooncake. With dry seaweed, pine nuts and walnuts, this mooncake is a better buy than Sanyang’s meat-stuffed cakes.



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