With the Mid-Autumn Festival fast approaching next month, Kitsby — a New York City-based Asian baking and culinary experience company — is making its four-flavor Kitsby All Star Mooncake Box Set ($55) available for nationwide shipping starting on August 30 through end of September via its website.
Kitsby’s mooncakes come from first-generation Taiwanese-American founder Amy Hsiao’s original recipes. The sampler box includes four different fillings:
- Black Sesame — Made with black sesame imported from Taiwan, which then is roasted and ground into a smooth and thick paste and pan-fried until fragrant. The aromatic sesame is not only used in the filling; the skin of the mooncake is also aged/soaked in the paste for 5 days.
- Taiwanese Black Tea with Salted Egg Yolk — Taiwanese black tea is mixed with bean paste and paired with creamy egg yolk for a rich and bold flavor. Aged for 5 days in bean paste.
- White Lotus Paste with Salted Egg Yolk — White lotus paste is the most traditional filling, and this mooncake is also aged in it for an extra 5 days for maximum flavor and moist texture.
- Green Tea with Azuki Bean (Red Bean) — Japanese matcha tea is fused with white bean paste (okay for people with nut allergies) while the azuki beans are kept whole for texture. Aged for 5 days in bean paste.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated by numerous Asian countries each year on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, this year falling on September 30. Mooncakes are the food staple of the holiday, with their round shape symbolizing family unity.
“Growing up in an Asian American family, we waited excitedly for relatives to bring mooncakes to our Mid-Autumn Festival gatherings because my parents had craftily tricked me into thinking that mooncakes can only be eaten if they were gifted to you,” says Hsiao, who also teaches a regular NYC workshop on how to make mooncakes. “Perhaps that’s why now I’ve both ‘rebelled’ by making my own, and embraced the tradition of gifting mooncakes!”