Friday, July 1, 2011

ESD's Hong Kong Correspondent: Mooncakes and Other Goodies

ESD's Hong Kong Correspondent at Versailles, 2011.
Before I blew out my shoulder last month, I had the good fortune to attend a dinner in honor of ESD's Hong Kong Correspondent Christine Jagolino.  CJ, as she is frequently known in the documentary television circles, was back in LA to attend a wedding and took a side trip to Versailles to visit with her old work colleagues, myself included.  

I hadn't been to Versailles in quite a while, but I knew what I was going to order before I got there--  Lechon Asado (Cuban style Roasted Pork).  Whenever I go to Versailles, I think about branching out and trying something new.  They're famous for their garlic chicken, which is amazing, but I can never resist the roasted pork.  That evening I got to catch up with CJ over a plate of succulent pork (which CJ also ordered).  What could be better?

As it turned out, it did get better.  CJ brought me a delightful gift-- two boxes of ornately wrapped cakes flown in from Hong Kong.  
Pineapple Cake in it's many layered wrappings, 2011.
Tasty as these little cakes were (the pineapple version was my favorite), it was their weirdness that impressed me the most.  I've never seen food with so many layers of packaging.  I suppose this is to be expected since these cakes are made for tourists to take to their friends and family back home, where ever "back home" may be.  I was also amused by a note that accompanied the moon cakes.
White spots on the cake-side may sometimes be observed, which are only bloomed flour and not harmful to be served.  
 Bloomed flour?  That means mold, right?  Not that I mind mold.  I've certainly been known to scrape a bit of mold off my breakfast toast and I'll eat my cheese as stinky as I can get it.  But having a reminder in the package label telling me it was ok to eat the mold on the cake seemed hilarious to me.  Is "bloomed flour" a euphemism or simply an odd translation?  Either way, it's pretty great.  I figure that if you see mold on your food you either automatically throw it away or eat it.  I suspect that few people would be swayed by a piece of paper in the face of a fuzzy mold ball growing on their cake.  Am I wrong?
Unwrapped and mold-free mooncake sitting on part of it's packaging, 2011.