China's Mid-Autumn Festival is approaching. As with every Chinese festival, it has its very own special food eaten for the celebrations. This time it's the mooncake. Mooncakes are similar to small pies, complete with various fillings. The delicacy varies from area to area. Today we head to Anhui Province in east China to take a look at Huizhou-style mooncakes.
This small food factory named "Juan Juan" in Anhui is owned by Wang Juanjuan, a 59-year-old woman. She started learning how to make mooncakes when she was just 14, and she’s been doing it for 45 years. "Today’s mooncakes are different from back in the old days. The materials are much better. They are more delicious and crispy," Wang said. For Wang Juanjuan, taste is the most important part of Huizhou mooncakes. This style is small, delicate and as white and as polished jade. Their crusts are made from wheat flour and vegetable oil, and fillings consist of edible wild vegetables, fresh lard and sugar. And as our expert says, how long you cook it for is also crucial. "The duration of cooking the sugar is important. When it becomes sticky, it’s ready," Wang said. To make the mooncake more tasty, Wang Juanjuan always adds black seasame into the filling. "The black seasame we use is different from in other provinces. Their seasame is brown, but ours is totally black. It smells very good," she said. Now, the whole family join in the process at the mooncake factory. Even Wang’s 5-year-old grandson is learning the ropes. "I'm very interested in making Huizhou mooncakes. More importantly, this is a bussiness passed down from my mom, so this is my career," said Su Shun'an, Wang's son.
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In recent years, Wang's mooncake business has grown fast. She has now opened a store in front of the factory selling the mooncakes, which has attracted a lot of local residents. "It tastes soft and smooth." "It’s our local delicacy. Everyone in my family loves it. We all like eating Huizhou mooncakes." This year Wang Juanjuan’s son opened an online store, so Huizhou mooncakes can now continue to reach many more people.
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