Hanoi’s streets are decorated with numerous colourful stalls selling moon cakes in the lead up to the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on September 19 this year.

Amid the fierce competition, moon cakes baked with traditional flavours still outsell their more modern counterparts.

Hanoians are very particular about their gastronomy, especially in the way to enjoy moon cakes as, according to them, the Mid-Autumn Festival is an important time when family members gather after hardworking days.

During the festival, grandparents and their children often gather to eat moon cakes and drink tea together while sharing their daily stories in the warm atmosphere.

This year, many moon cake producers, especially Hanoi-based renowned brand names such as Hanoi Confectionery JSC, Trang An, Huu Nghi and Hai Ha, have reintroduced traditional baked moon cakes following the production of a hefty volume of cakes with different and novelty flavours in previous years.

According to Trinh Sy, General Director of Trang An, after many years of studying the market, his company has turned its targets to traditional and fresh cakes this autumn.

He said Trang An moon cakes are inspired by such century-old ingredients as pig’s nape fat, lemon leaves and the extract of grape fruit flowers without the use of preservatives.

The company’s collection this year includes assorted, five-taste, young rice, lotus seed and coconut, and green bean flavoured moon cakes, said the General Director.

With such changes, Trang An hopes to attract greater interest from Hanoians as well as customers from other cities and provinces across the country, Sy added.

Hanoi Confectionery JSC continues to focus on traditional moon cakes, which have helped earn reputation for the company over the years.

For their special flavours, which still preserve the quintessence of the thousand-year-old city, the company’s cakes have attracted crowds of customers to its stalls across Hanoi.

Joining the move, hotels and traditional bakeries such as Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street, Ninh Huong on Hang Dieu Street and Gia Thinh on Hang Duong Street have also paid attention to traditional flavours.

Even five-star hotels such as Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi make moon cakes in the Hanoian style.

This year, despite a slight increase in the cost of ingredients, all moon cake producers have tried to offer reasonable prices as customers tighten their belts amid economic difficulties. A box of four moon cakes costs an average 200,000 VND (nearly 10 USD). There are also those priced double, and even 10 million VND (around 475 USD), which are mainly bought as gifts.

The moon cake market is forecast to get busier in the next few weeks.-VNA