sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 10, 2019

belated lunar new year celebration
posted by soe 1:49 am

I went for a long walk this afternoon, which ended in Chinatown. This past Tuesday was the Lunar New Year, marking the start of the Year of the Pig, and tomorrow is D.C.’s New Year parade. I caught the end of it last year, but crowds tend to stress me out, so I decided to skip this year’s but seek out something that I didn’t get to experience last year due to the long lines — mooncakes at one of Chinatown’s few remaining local Chinese restaurants (and our only Chinese bakery).

Mooncakes are more traditionally eaten at harvest time, the Mid-Autumn or Chinese Moon Festival, but they are delicious at any time. The Joy Luck House is noted for theirs, and the line tomorrow will be down the block.

Chinese New Year

I bought both their lotus seed and their red bean paste mooncakes and a mochi, all of which are delicious and highly recommended. The red bean paste is what you’ll find in mochi, and I preferred it to the lotus seed paste, which understandably tasted more flowery and sweet. The latter wasn’t bad; I am just a big fan of red bean paste! The mochi was covered in unsweetened coconut, which gave it a nice texture contrast to the sponginess of the glutinous rice cake and the smooth filling. The taro bun, while pretty, came pre-packaged, rather than from the counter-top display case, and was consequently, I suspect, less fresh and drier. I also picked up a package of almond cookies, which I’ve saved for another day. It did not fare especially well in my bag on the way home, but I suspect the cookies will still taste pretty good in small pieces.

I served the desserts with a pot of Yunnan Gold tea, which contrasted nicely with their sweetness.

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