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No fear of obesity with unique mooncakes
Ngo Minh 13:33, 2023/09/26
Unique mooncakes showcase the ingenuity and creativity of their makers, spreading an air of joy and positivity during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

A plethora of distinctive mooncake designs unveiled during this year's Mid-Autumn Festival have brought an air of happiness and optimism to customers.

Mooncakes baked for two months

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the great celebrations of the Vietnamese people. On the 15th day of the eighth Lunar month (September 29 this year), they gather to enjoy the moonlight and eat mooncakes.

Since early August, many households have been eagerly preparing ingredients to make their own mooncakes, fostering a sense of togetherness and upholding age-old customs.

Yarn moon cakes.

Nguyen Thu Thao, 31, from Hanoi surprised her followers when she posted pictures of her homemade mooncakes on social networks. These cakes, she said, do not require an oven to bake and are oil-free, so her diners do not have to worry about getting fat.

At first glance, these mooncakes have the traditional golden-brown crust, paired with the vibrant purple of taro and the verdant green of matcha. Upon closer inspection, however, observers will be utterly amazed as these mooncakes are entirely knitted with yarn.

Nguyen Thu Thao said she came up with the idea of preparing a distinctive mooncake for the upcoming Mid-Autumn season, symbolizing tradition and family atmosphere.

"An idea flashed through my mind: to make a moon cake out of wool. I found that no one had ever used wool to make mooncakes. Because of my expertise in crocheting, I started making my first cakes," Thao said.

Thao meticulously studied mooncakes, drawing inspiration from a variety of designs from different brands of mooncakes to create her own unique design. She created her own design, made the cake pan, and crafted the surface pattern. She had to create a cake mold that was close to the actual size, complete with sharp and vivid patterns. It took her nearly two months to make a set of four mooncakes.

Currently, Thao is innovating with more distinctive cakes, such as moon cakes shaped like lotus flowers, especially for the Full Moon Festival. She also makes red and wool star lanterns.

A feast for the Mid-Autumn Festival made by Nguyen Thu Thao who lives in Hanoi.

Coin-sized mooncakes

The animal-shaped mooncakes with bean eyes are engraved in the memories of many people who played with pig, rabbit or cat mooncakes instead of square cakes in their childhood.

Nguyen Nhu Quynh in Hanoi, as the guardian of this custom, made her own dainty fish and pig mooncakes and shared them on social media. The golden-brown pigs are prominently displayed next to a coin, emphasizing their diminutive size compared to regular cakes.

"My mooncakes can last over time," Quynh said. She pointed out that while the cakes have the advantage of being nonperishable, their biggest drawback is that they're inedible.

 Coin-sized clay mooncakes.

These extraordinary cakes are made from a special clay that is used to create illustrations to help diners visualize what they are eating and not be confused by the fancy names on the menu.

Although Nhu Quynh's business is not related to cooking, she has been pursuing her hobby of clay modeling for many years. According to her, each dish has its own unique characteristics that require a specific technique to help diners best identify the flavors.

In the beginning, she relied on YouTube tutorials and ordered ingredients from abroad.

"To refine my skills, I refer to real food images while studying on YouTube. To depict the accuracy of the product, clay food modeling requires quite meticulous techniques," Quynh explained.

In the past, Nhu Quynh had a routine of spending 8 to 12 hours a day creating clay products. As a mother with business responsibilities, she could only work in her free time. Over the course of more than a decade, she has amassed a collection of nearly 1,000 tiny objects, including fruits, food, fairies, mermaids, dolls and more, through her creative efforts.

 Coin-sized mooncakes are made from clay.

Despite the lengthy process, she was able to complete it using only a table lamp, which fortunately provided enough direct light. According to her, a product usually takes an average of 4-5 hours to complete, but a more elaborate one can take several days.

"My affection for food in general is strong, but there's something about Vietnamese cuisine that holds a special place in my heart," Quynh said. She expressed her hope that people will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of our cuisine through this innovative art form.

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