Exotic flavours reflect shift in taste at Chinese fest

Beijing, Sep 26 (IANS) Mooncakes, a tasty treat often given as a gift during China’s annual Mid-Autumn Festival, are being made with new and interesting flavours, the media reported on Saturday.

Chocolate, coffee and yogurt are among the new flavours, Xinhua news agency reported.

Lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste, jujube paste and five kernel are the traditional fillings, along with the more recent additions of taro paste, pineapple and durian.

The new “exotic” flavours reflect a wider shift in the tastes and demands of customers, especially “foodies” or those with a taste for western cuisine, sources said.

Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University, said these new additions were not a threat to traditional mooncakes.

According to online shopping site taobao.com, traditional Cantonese-style mooncakes remain the top item sold by renowned bakery Daoxiangcun, which, this year, has sold more than 400,000 sets nationwide.

Chocolate-filled mooncakes have raked up sales of about 80,000 sets, according to Taobao. The sales number is remarkable, especially when you consider they cost at least twice as much as their traditional counterparts.

Mooncakes sets on Taobao range from 100-300 yuan (about $15-47).

The appearance of mooncakes has also changed over the years in response to competition and the need to “stand out”.

Sina Weibo user “fiveYi-” posted pictures of flower-shaped mooncakes on her account. The delicate cake had a crisp chocolate crust and ice cream filling, she said.

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