Just like people in the West prepare very early for Christmas, Chinese people also often begin their shopping for mooncakes one month before Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Sept 10 this year.
Since China has diverse ethnic groups, some have their own “mooncakes”.
Yi people, living in Dahei village in Yunnan province, have such a traditional delicacy for the festival. It is called Ande baba, as baba refers to cakes in many dialects in China.
Each year, before the Mid-Autumn Festival, the villagers are busy making such cakes. The process often needs the labor of the whole family. First, they stir eggs with buckwheat and wheat flour for about half an hour. To make the paste softer and elastic, a wood stick is a preferred tool rather than hands. Then nuts and dried fruits are put in the dough and the paste is molded into various shapes. After around 20 minutes’ baking, fresh and delicious Ande baba are finished.
The craft of the cake has a history of a century and was listed as local intangible cultural heritage in 2018.