Only available in certain countries for a limited time, these regional cakes come with a number of gorgeous details.
One of the key ingredients to Starbucks’ success as a global coffee house chain is their ability to adapt to different markets and devise menus that cater to local tastes. In China, there’s one fantastic edible on everyone’s minds in autumn, the delicious mooncake, and Starbucks is now delivering their own take on the traditional specialty to customers in the region.
Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is centred around lunar worship and moon watching. Celebrated on 15 September this year, the cakes are often given as gifts and shared between family and friends during the important Chinese festival.
Starbucks is selling their version of the Chinese confectionery in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, with different designs and flavours available in each country.
Our Japanese reporter Meg picked up a box from the Chinese mainland and was keen to try all three varieties of mooncake inside.
The box was huge and featured stunning decorative elements that made it look like a picture book, with a 3-D Starbucks mermaid raising a cup of Joe to the moon with its fabled inhabitant, a rabbit, jumping through the sky.
▼ The mooncakes featured the Starbucks mermaid, in red, green and brown varieties.
While Chinese mooncakes usually appear with a crusted coating, these Starbucks cakes looked very different to the traditional varieties.
▼ The red cake was a “Cheese Cranberry” flavour.
▼ Inside, resembling the round moon, was a pulp filling that contained whole cranberries, which, when combined with the cheese-flavoured paste around it, made it taste like a western confectionary.
▼ The South American Coffee Hazelnut was filled with flavourful aromas.
The taste was like a milky cafe latte, with crunchy pieces of hazelnuts giving it a great textured mouthfeel.
▼ The Brown Rice Powdered Green Tea was Meg’s favourite.
Filled with delicious aromas, the fragrant green tea combined beautifully with the sweet flavours of the brown rice paste.
Meg’s box, which cost 328 yuan (5,020 yen/US$49.17), was just one of three varieties available. The most gorgeous box in the middle was so popular it had sold out, despite its expensive price tag.
Meg absolutely loved the Starbucks mooncakes, with their large size, beautiful packaging and limited availability making them one of the best souvenirs she’s ever bought for herself. She’s already counting down the days until she can buy the 2017 versions next year!
Photos © RocketNews24
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