If you happen to stumble into a Chinese bakery in the coming days, you might encounter stacks of miniature cakes piled up a mile high. Workers are behind counters, frantically taking calls for pre-orders and stuffing cakes into slick, adorned boxes.
This is all in preparation for the Chinese mid-autumn Moon Festival, or zhong qiu jie, an annual Chinese soiree that falls on Thursday.
It’s the days preceding the festival that are the busiest. Families are stocking up on these cakes aptly called mooncakes — small pastries stuffed with lotus, dates or red bean with or without a salted duck egg yolk stuffed inside. They’re the Chinese equivalent of a fruitcake – you never actually buy it for yourself. They’re meant as gifts for friends and family.
Enjoy in moderation. They’re a gut-busting snack. A typical 6.3-ounce mooncake has about 800 calories.
Here’s a round-up of four great places to get mooncakes in Los Angeles.