Whole mooncake and a cross section.

According to the Chinese calendar, Sunday is the Mid-Autumn Festival, the time of the year to celebrate the summer's abundant harvest. Celebrate the traditional way by getting a box of mooncakes!

But what are mooncakes? There are many different variants of this pastry, but the most common ones have a thin red-brown crust with lotus seed paste filling and some contain one or two duck egg yolks. Their thick and heavy consistency is reflected in their caloric content of about 880 calories per cake—which explains why my parents didn't want me eating too much at a time. The price of one of these calorie bombs ranges from $10-$70 depending on the type and brand of mooncake you buy.

A good brand to get is Wing Wah from Hong Kong—it's been favorite ever since I was a kid. A box of four cakes, each containing an egg yolk, will cost about $25. If you're not willing to spend that much you can wait until after Sunday when they lower the prices. You can find them at Asian supermarkets and at some bakeries (check out my Chinatown bakery guide for recommendations).

Whether or not you decide to eat mooncakes, have a great harvest festival this weekend!


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