Thursday, September 1, 2011

Where Do I Get Mooncakes In Howard County?

Keep an eye out for moon cakes at the H Mart in Catonsville or other places that cater to a Chinese crowd.  The Mid-Autumn Festival starts on September 12, and I'm looking for any advice and any sightings.

Mooncakes are pastries that people often give as gifts to family or friends around the festival.  Min gave me advice months ago, especially about Rockville bakeries:
I only see boxes of imported moon cakes from renown moon cake makers of Taiwan and of HK at H Mart in the weeks before Mid Autumn Festival (aka Moon Festival, the 15th day of 8th month in the lunar calendar).  Moon cakes are highly seasonal and labor intensive.  There are different styles (Taiwanese, HK, Cantonese, Jiansu, etc.) of moon cakes to choose. But I buy my mooncakes from Maxim Gourmet Oriental Market every year in Rockville. Maria's Bakery & Cafe in Rockville (HK style bakery) and Bread Corner (Taiwanese style bakery) may carry some items similar (e.g. egg yolk cakes, mung bean cakes), but never the real deal.
Anyone have mooncake places closer to home?  How do I know if I"m getting the real deal?  Any advice?

7 comments:

Matt B said...

Isn't there an Asian Bakery in Lotte Plaza?

Treetop Tom said...

Lotte Plaza has mooncakes with three different fillings: Lotus Paste, Red Bean and Mixed Nut. I didn't check the bakery in the food court, but I'd be suprised if they didn't sell them - it may take a special order. Maybe Bon Appetit on US 40, although they would be the Korean variety. Don't wait too long to get them or they will be sold out.

kat said...

I would think the "real deal" is in the eye of the beholder -- as long as your cake is lotus seed paste inside, either with or without a salted duck egg yolk in the middle, then you're probably on the right track. Some friends of mine have even made them at home (with a mold for the pastry) but that's a lot of work.

I grew up eating an imported HK brand (unfortunately I don't know the name offhand - I'll take a picture of the box when I see it), seasonally available in Rockville. I'd be thrilled to see mooncakes in the HoCo area.

Just be careful not to eat a whole one at once! Cut a wedge and enjoy with tea. Mooncakes are very dense and filling.

Anonymous said...

someone just gave me a box from Costco. Imported from Taiwan with double yolk.

Anonymous said...

lotte plaza has two gift tins on an endcap in aisle 3 or 4 in the back. there is a variety pack with two moon cakes (nuts with a yolk and red bean) and four pineapple-filled shortbread cookies. the other is a single large moon cake with lotus filling. both are $15.99. i tried the two small moon cakes and was disappointed. gummy and flavorless.

S said...

The Asia Supermarket (AA I think) is mainly Chinese sundries (also has freshly prepared foods, produce, fresh seafood, frozen items and baked goods from NYC Chinatown)--it is further down route 40 just inside the beltway. They have mooncakes. Strangely enough, Costco has the double yolk mooncakes for a little untder $12/box!

Kathy McClellan said...

They have stacks of these at Pho Van in Catonsville. I know it's not HOCO technically, but the Pho is great and it looks like they are selling moon cakes.