Bánh Trung Thu Mooncake – 306 of 365

Bánh Trung Thu

How could I not eat a mooncake after witnessing the Tết Trung Thu or Mid-Autumn Festival going on around me.  About a week ago, the Vietnam Daily News ran an article that moon cake sales are down 40% over last year leading up to the festival, and many vendors had sunk thousands of dollars into buying stock now festering on store shelves.  These little cakes are expensive at up to $5 for something the size of a donut yet as heavy as a chunk of lead.

Supposedly some man named Cuoi had a wife who peed all over a banyan tree.  For reasons only known to him he sat on the piss soaked tree and it began to grow.  Not only did it grow, but it shot up into the heavens.  He was then left stranded on the moon and nowadays children light lanterns while singing to show Cuoi the way home.

This begs the question of why didn’t he just climb back down the tree in the first place?  And where is his wife now who caused all this?  Is her loose bladder what gave the green light for what seems like half the population to piss all over in public at any given time?  Well, maybe half is an exaggeration but I dare anyone to walk more than two blocks without watching someone taking a whiz out in the open.  Nasty, nasty, nasty!

Competing Flavors

I bought one of these mooncakes, bánh trung thu, out of curiosity since it was 50% off.  Hey, I might as well take advantage of the slow sales and get a meal out of it.  I thought back to the Tet cake earlier in this food journey with its gloppy rice shell and dried out pork innards.  Vietnamese festive food and I just don’t mix much like fruit cake back home is a part of Christmas best ignored.

This mooncake is a food of the same vein as tet cake and definitely not designed for my western sensibilities.  I’m sorry Vietnam, but that mooncake was probably hands down the most disgusting piece of food I have tasted on this food journey.  It tasted of cardamom, ginger, nuts and other assorted bakery type items and those are ok on their own.  What I couldn’t get past was the dried out meat and pasty egg yolks mixed in with those competing flavors.  Add a healthy dose of chili pepper as well that burned my tongue off.  Oh yeah, I almost failed to mention it stank to high heaven where Cuoi supposedly is still lost.  Open up a dozen of these things and he can follow the rank stench home.

It’s like someone squirted the grocery store baking and spice aisles into an Oscar Mayer hotdog and then wrapped the horrendous outcome in a fig newton.  Holy crap this thing was bad.  The newspaper wrote an entire article pontificating about possible causes for the lack of sales this season.  I could have saved them the trouble and answered in five words:  It tastes like dog squeeze.  And five hours later I am still burping up that hideous medley of flavors.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

One Comment on “Bánh Trung Thu Mooncake – 306 of 365”

  1. October 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    There are many different varieties of moon cake. I have never had the kind that you describe with peppers and a strong smell. Most of those that I have eaten are more for desert.

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