Thursday, October 18, 2012

Moon cakes and Pomelos

 Current MAIS student Natalie Sammarco joins us again with an update about fall in Nanjing:

"Two weeks into the semester, we have a week long break for China’s National holiday (Oct 1-3). We have to make up some of the classes we miss during our week long break but the best part about having time off is that we get time to explore Nanjing! Some students choose to go elsewhere for break and many of the Chinese students return home to see their families, but I stayed here to acquaint myself with my new home. Here are some of the highlights from National Holiday break:

Moon cakes: The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated all over China. The best part about this festival is the food related to it. Moon cakes have a softer, butter shell on the outside and gooey yuminess in the center!  :-) They are filled with everything from fruit, to tea flavors, nuts, egg flavorings, and red bean paste. Be careful not to eat too many though, they are so addicting that after the holiday (when none can be found anywhere at all) you might suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Gujiming Temple: I was taken here by one of our Chinese classmates. It was a beautiful day and autumn had not yet settled into Nanjing. The small temple was decently crowded with people paying tribute and my Chinese classmate showed me proper ritual for giving thanks. The temple is beautiful and involves quite a few steep steps to get to the top. It has 3 layers of pagodas before we reached the top and then we could see the entirety of Xuanwu Lake spread out behind it speckled with paddle boats of those who were also enjoying the day. It was wonderful to explore the city and find such a peaceful place. Aside: the temple has an amazing vegetarian restaurant located just beside it!

The weather has turned colder now but it’s not terrible because we have pomelo season to look forward to. Pomelos (2x the size of your biggest grapefruit) are a citrus fruit that is not too sweet but serves as a great refreshing snack. They are just coming in season now and I’ve already bought a couple from my fruit guy up the street. Lots to look forward to as we head into chillier weather!