September is when the Chinese traditional Middle Autumn Festival takes place, which means a lot for the Chinese families to reunite. In the festive ambience of the Middle Autumn Festival, visitors to Kunming (Yunnan) will have a good opportunity for tasting assorted moon cakes and pastries.
The material for making rose pied pastries is the edible roses special to Yunnan. Thanks to the mild climate, Yunnan tops other places of China for roses. It is said that Yunnan rose pied pastries were once praised by Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty about 300 years ago and was chosen as a special dessert in the imperial court. In Bajie Town of Anning in the west of Kunming, there are rose plantations for making rose delicacies including pastries which are available all the year round as many travellers to Kunming know these fragrant pastries are the authentic local produce.
Among the Yunnan style moon cakes, the ham-pied enjoy a wide popularity in China. This is partly because Yunnan's climate is suitable for curing hams. The story of the ham-pied moon cakes can date back to the period of the Republic of China (1912-1949) and the producer at that time was the Hexianglou Workshop (in Kunming) which specilised in Han nationality pastries. As the best seller among moon cakes in Kunming today, the ham-pied moon cakes are either decent festival gifts or for locals to enjoy themselves.
According to different clients, many new kinds of moon cakes are baked, including sugar-free and fruits-pied which are friendly to people even with diabetes.
Where to buy?
In the outlets of supermarkets like Carrefour and Wal-Mart in the city of Kunming, many kinds of moon cakes are available; and many bakeries like the Joy Bakery and Bread Works have very nice moon cakes for sale.