Hong Kong mooncake makers offer vegan and raw versions of the traditional pastry to attract the health-conscious during the festive season. Lisa Giles-Keddie reports.
Hong Kong shops offer healthy alternatives to the traditional mooncake
The traditional tasty Chinese pastry is getting a healthy makeover.
The Mooncake, usually oozing with sugar, tempting fillings and of course calories is being made in vegan version, using ingredients like coconut milk, sesame seeds and green tea.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHEF AND INSTRUCTOR OF SESAME KITCHEN, SHIMA SHIMIZU, SAYING:
“People are definitely looking for healthier options. Also there are some people who want to enjoy mooncakes but they cannot because it includes lard which is pork, some dietary restrictions, more and more people have allergies.”
Mooncakes are on the menu at this time of year for the mid-autumn moon festival.
However, the Hong Kong government wants to remind people to maintain a balanced diet, and avoid excessive eating of mooncakes, high in sugar and fat.
Authorities are keen to combat rising levels of obesity in the region.
Upmarket shops are experimenting with their very own mooncake flavours…
Borrowing from the traditional western cupcake to create fresh tastes with a familiar comfort factor.
But have consumers been won over?
(SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST FROM SINGAPORE, PAULINE HOSANNA, SAYING:
“I don’t know about other people, but my group of friends they are very health conscious. I think that they would like these, prefer these rather than the traditional ones. Because whenever we talk about mooncake, we love mooncakes. But then, we are like, because of the high sugar, the rich calories, then we are going take hours or days to burn off. So I think this is a good substitute.”
(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG RESIDENT, HELEN HUNG, SAYING:
“But this is traditional right? So I also buy a traditional mooncake at home but I only eat a little bit, like this small piece, because I know that it is not healthy, too much sugar. But I have to buy because that is my traditional culture.”
It seems when the full moon rises over Hong Kong this September, nothing can stop a Chinese sweet tooth.