The Case Against the Mooncake

Jul 13, 2010
*Special to asia!

I long for the days when we can all be free of this absurd, pointless, bad-tasting, gruesomely unhealthy and astonishingly wasteful pastry.

Have we gone mad? Do we really need our cakes to come in a stacked box shaped like a pagoda, or in a receptacle in the form of the Beijing Summer Palace? No single snack in Asia – except perhaps for the irritating Japanese seaweed cracker – is so flagrantly wasteful of resources.

So, for all the reasons carefully and calmly delineated above, I have always disliked the mooncake. I’m not asking for a ban of the mooncake, you understand (mainly because the request wouldn’t succeed, as hardly anybody reads my articles.) I’m just asking us to be a little more reasonable, less wasteful and more circumspect about this absurd-looking, foul-tasting confection.

But now, even as I cast my mind on the various sweetmeats of the world, my thoughts are alighting on one other pastry that arouses in me only vitriol and contempt. It’s fussy, prissy, bone-warpingly sweet and seems to exist solely so that harassed-looking pastry chefs can pile it into neat little pyramids in their shop windows. In terms of its spelling, it actually resembles the mooncake.

The macaroon. Don’t even get me started on the macaroon.

clarissa tanClarissa is a journalist who focuses on travel and the arts. As a desperately hopeful author, she writes short stories and is working on a novel. Clarissa won the Spectator’s final Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing.

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