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  A Nation of the Art of Eating
The Story of Moon Cake

The Chinese moon cake is for the Mid-autumn Festival and is so called because it is made in the form of a disc representing the full moon of the festival.

The cake consists of a crust and stuffing. The crust is made in varying ways and with varying degrees of crispness, but the usual main ingredients are wheat flour, oil or fat, sugar and maltose. Part of the flour is mixed with water to make dough, and the rest is kneaded with fat. These arranged in alternate layers become the crust after baking. A wide variety of materials may be used for the stuffing; these include Chinese ham, sausage, walnut, meat, pine nuts and almond. The usual flavourings are osman thus flowers, rose petals and other natural essences.

Moon cakes are normally called by the fillings they contain - assorted fruits, five nuts, rose, ham, jujube paste, pepper and salt, and so on. The stuffing, as already shown, may be either sweet or salty or mixed in taste. There are literally a thousand and one kinds of moon cakes made in difference regions of China, but it is generally agreed that the best moon cakes are produced by three provinces - Jiangsu, Guangdong and Beijing.

The Story of Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a great favourite with the Chinese. They are also very much appreciated abroad. At receptions given by Chinese embassies or consulates, spring rolls often prove to be a gastronomic delight to the guests. It is not without reason that they are served by Chinese restaurants abroad at many times the price they are sold in China. In China, their appearance on the dinning table with their inviting brown colour has rarely failed to cause foreign tourists to click their tongues in admiration.

The principal ingredient for the filling in spring rolls is usually bean sprouts, which are mixed with shredded pork, dried mushroom plumped and shredded, vermicelli, shredded bamboo shoots and the necessary seasonings. The fillings are deep-fried in oil and served hot when the wrappers are still crisp.

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