5 popular Mid-Autumn Festival foods that aren’t mooncakes

With the Mid-Autumn Festival around the corner, no celebratory feast is complete without food!

And while mooncake (月饼, yuè bǐng) is arguably the most important food symbolising family uniting harmoniously under a full moon, there are also other foods with great significance. Discover these 5 popular Mid-Autumn Festival foods besides mooncake*!

*Of course, these foods shouldn’t replace mooncakes entirely.  Shop for mooncakes and other traditional food favourites here now!

1. Pomelo (柚, yòu)

While pomelos are more often seen around Chinese New Year, the refreshing citrus fruit is also a staple during the Mid-Autumn Festival. This is because pomelo (柚, yòu) sounds like “bless” (佑, yòu) in Mandarin and are offered to the moon in the hopes that the Moon Goddess will bless families with good luck and happiness. 

Also, a slice or two of pomelo will also help cleanse your taste buds after indulging in one too many sweet mooncakes! Double the sweetness by having this refreshing Sweet Bliss Melon and Pomelo Pudding after.

2. Lotus root (莲藕, lián ǒu)

In Mandarin, lotus root means “togetherness” (连, lián) and a “pair” (偶, ǒu). Its sectional shape akin to bamboo represents abundance and new opportunities! This versatile and nutritious vegetable soaks up anything it’s cooked in, so it’s best enjoyed in popular dishes such as pork rib and peanut soup, or even Mala Xiang Guo.

3. Taro (芋头. yù tou)

We may know about taro-infused bubble teas, but there’s more than one way to have taro! Also known as purple sweet potato, the tradition of having taro during Mid-Autumn traces back to the Qing Dynasty. In Wu Chinese, a local dialect in the southeastern Jiangsu and Zhejiang dialects, taro is a homophone for “余头 (yú tóu)” meaning good luck and the expelling of evil spirits and disaster.

For a sweet treat with a twist this Mid-Autumn Festival, you can try serving up these tasty Taro Tarts!

4. Duck (鸭, yā)

In China, duck is commonly eaten during the Mid-Autumn — its meat also tends to be richer at this time of the year too. For more practical reasons, duck is a “cooling” (yin) food in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that can help to balance the heat of “warming” (yang) effect from other foods such as mooncakes.

Buck Mid-Autumn traditions in Singapore with duck! Before eating mooncakes, have a satisfying main meal such as this luscious Treasured Sesame Oil Duck.

5. Pumpkin  (南瓜, nán guā)

Pumpkins were commonly eaten in place of more expensive mooncakes by poorer families during Mid-Autumn in ancient China. Literally translated to “Southern melon”, legend has it that its name came about when the daughter of a poor family brought an oval-shaped melon that she found in the South Mountain fields. She brought the melon back and cooked it for two sick family members, and the meal miraculously healed them! Since then, pumpkin is believed to bring good health. So revel in this luscious and sumptuous Golden Pumpkin Scallops with Crispy Wanton this Mid-Autumn!

Celebratory dishes work best with freshest ingredients. Grab these foods of great significance for your Mid-Autumn spread at your nearest FairPrice store!

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