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Watch: The Art of Making Chinese Mooncakes by Hand

Lots of work goes into these intricate pastries

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China's Mid-Autumn Festival, a holiday nearly as important as Chinese New Year, is just around the corner; it falls in late September or early October when the moon is at its fullest. The most important foodstuff for this 3,000-year-old event is, appropriately, a sweet pastry called the mooncake. While scores of food manufacturers now produce them, only a select few artisans still retain the skills necessary to make mooncakes by hand.

In this gorgeously shot video from filmmaker Andrew Gooi, a veteran Hong Kong pastry chef named Mr. Tam shows how he's been making the intricately patterned pastries — a thin layer wrapped around a dense filling of sweet bean paste and a boiled duck egg yolk to represent the full moon — for half a century. Dedicated to preserving the tradition of making mooncakes completely by hand, Mr. Tam says he'll pass the craft down to his grandchildren.

Mooncake: The Lost Art [Vimeo]All Video Interludes [E]