Take advantage…

The other day, the people at the fruit and food shop near my house asked me to buy these mooncakes from Sarikei…

Sing Hing Leong traditional mooncakes

Yes, I am quite familiar with this bakery. I would buy their lung ngor (Foochow egg cake)…

Sing Hing Leong lung ngor

…sometimes. I wouldn’t say they’re the best but they’re good enough for me.

Their pek guek tong chiew pia (eighth month autumn festival biscuit), the Foochow Mooncake Festival biscuits…

Pek guek pia

…are not to my liking though (I prefer another brand, also from Sarikei) as theirs do not contain lard but as far as I know they’re very well-marketed, available even in Kuching. I guess most people are not that fussy about what they eat – as long as it is nice, that is good enough for them.

Inside the paper wrapping, the mooncakes are wrapped in plastic…

Wrapped in plastic

Now, that was not what we had in my younger days. In the past, they would be wrapped with white paper – which, of course, is a whole lot more environment-friendly than using plastic. Personally, I feel kite paper is a good substitute.

This is the pek tau sar (mung bean paste)…

Traditional moonckae pek tau sar

I don’t know if this was available when I was small – probably not. Every year, my dad would buy home the or tau sar (the black red bean paste) ones for us to enjoy…and those Foochow Mooncake Festival biscuits, of course. There was another variety, the mixed nuts with bits of pork fat and whatever inside. Nobody liked that so my dad never bought any home. These days, there are all kinds available, most of which have strayed so far from what would be traditionally acceptable. I would go for the lotus paste ones, with or without salted egg yolk – we never had that either in the past.

There are four inside so at RM14.00 a tube, that works out to RM3.50 each. That, of course, is a whole lot cheaper than those ridiculously astronomical prices that we have to fork out for those renowned names brought over from the peninsular but still, that got me thinking.

If one tau sar peah is 80 sen a piece and if we stack two, one on top of the other, that will be RM1.60 altogether. Since the filling is the same, both pek tau sar, what is it in the skin or the process of making these mooncakes that justifies the price? Are they jumping on the bandwagon, taking advantage of the festival and cashing in on the special occasion to make more than they should? If that is what they are doing, may God forgive them!!!

This is my favourite Sibu homemade one…

Sibu homemade mooncake, pek tao sar

…which is even more expensive, RM6.00 each but one can feel the difference in the quality, how fine the filling and skin are. I enjoyed them last year and I liked them so much that when I went over to Kuching, I even bought some for my uncle and cousins and their families there. They were not available earlier and even when they just made their appearance the other morning, there weren’t many to choose from when I dropped by – hopefully, the one making will come out with my favourite, the hēi zhīma (黑芝麻) – black sesame, soon.

Surprisingly, my girl is not that enthusiastic about these nicer ones from Sibu – she likes the cheap(er) Sarikei ones even though she is not really a fan of the Bintangor tau sar peah. I guess those are the ones that I shall be buying from now on for the festival.

These mooncakes are available at SWEE HUNG (2.316161, 111.840441) is located along Jalan Ruby, in the block of shops on the right – next to the Bethel Hair Salon at the extreme end…and on the other end, to the left is the Kim Won Chinese Medical Store and Mini-supermarket.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

6 thoughts on “Take advantage…”

  1. I believe the skin of the mooncakes are more difficult to make than the pastry skin of tau sar peah. Once a year, of course must earn a bit more.

    I wonder why they do not make them all throughout the year. Like those zhang (meat dumplings), we can get them any day now, not just once a year.

    1. Cos nobody will buy if they sell it all year round cos unlike Bak chang which can be eaten as main meals, this mooncake is too sweet to be eaten as main meals or as regular desserts.

      Hmmmm…maybe so, guess people will get sick of it, put off by the mere sight of it and will not want to buy anymore.

  2. I like those mooncakes in which the skins are so fine. Yums!

    Fine, but not thin. I love the skin. Some take pride in how their skin is paper thin – if there is almost no skin like that, might as well just eat the paste, no need for the skin. So silly!!!

  3. Pek tau sar and or tau sar are my favourite too. Lotus paste with salted egg yolk is definitely not my choice. Has been a long time I didn’t go to Padungan to buy mooncakes. Always get mine from Cosway, my favourite which is not overly sweet. Sadly these days, the lotus paste mooncakes comes with salted egg yolk inside.

    Oh? There are plain lotus paste ones, maybe not from Cosway. I like lotus paste too.
    I’m sure if you go to Padungan, you will get to see all these old school ones. I think they sell the ones from the bakeries in Sarikei there.

  4. Used to indulge in fancy mooncakes. Now my family and I prefer traditional flavours such as the tau sar and lotus flavour. Perhaps…we are getting old. 😀

    That’s the way it should be – to preserve our tradition, our heritage. Some of these new varieties are a bit too much! Their ancestors would turn in their graves!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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