°°BEIJING, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Health-conscious young Chinese are spurning oil and sugar-laden commercially made moon cakes and keeping alive the art of baking the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival delicacies at home.
In contrast to their parents who buy well-established brands from supermarkets, younger Chinese are turning to the Internet for tips and recipes.
"Most moon cakes in the supermarkets contain too much oil and sugar, which is unhealthy. I don't like them," said Ma Huizi, a 23-year-old Beijing office worker.
She has bought shaping tools and cooking materials online, and is learning to make moon cakes from culinary websites.
"Home-made moon cakes don't cost much and can be made in lots of flavors according to your taste," said Ma who referred to healthy ingredients such as milk, sticky rice and sweetened bean paste mentioned on DIY moon cake websites and which can be easily bought from supermarkets.
"Moon cakes are an indispensable part of the Mid-autumn Festival, so I make healthy moon cakes myself. I miss my family and moon cakes take my mind off my homesickness," said Ma, who was unable to visit her parents on the holiday.
Commercially made moon cakes are made in huge quantities and the stuffing is not as delicious as homemade ones, "Xintong" commented online, adding that homemade moon cakes are healthy, warm and safe for family members to enjoy together.
Some young Chinese blog writers have posted their moon cake cooking recipes on their blog websites. Blog writer "Gegeda" has put a series of pictures in her blog on Sina.com.cn, giving a "live coverage" of her DIY moon cakes.
In her blog "Gegeda" promotes mung bean moon cakes based on the recipe for healthy mung bean cakes.
However, making moon cakes at home is not a modern-day phenomenon. "When I was young in the countryside, all the villagers made moon cakes at home because they couldn't afford to buy them. I think the homemade ones back then were much more delicious than the luxuriously packaged moon cakes we have nowadays," said 50-year-old Tian Liying, who recalls celebrating the Mid-Autumn Day decades ago.
The Mid-autumn Festival or Moon Festival, which dates back to the early Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) and falls on Oct. 6 this year, marks the beginning of the harvest season. It is traditionally celebrated by people eating moon cakes, which are round-shaped to symbolize family reunion.
However, the custom has fallen out of favor among young people due to the cakes' high oil and sugar content and the burgeoning number of bakeries and supermarkets offering a wide range of delicacies year round.
Some bakeries in Beijing offer "westernized moon cakes" with flavors such as mocha coffee, cheese, tiramisu and wine, which are popular with the young. Enditem