by Xinhua writers Chenchen Shen, Huang Heng
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The mooncake, a traditional pastry special for the Mid-Autumn Festival, hit the shelves in many chain supermarkets in Los Angeles for the first time.
"In recent days, I find out that many American supermarkets, like Costco, Von's, they start to sell Chinese mooncakes as well," Annie Zhang, an immigrant who has lived in LA County for seven years told Xinhua on Thursday.
At an American supermarket filled with wines and chips, when she saw the mooncakes with Chinese characters on the square tin boxes, "it makes me feel very warm," Zhang added.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, is the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, which falls on Sept. 15 this year.
Costco, the largest membership-only warehouse club in the United States,began selling mooncakes a month ago. "We have to refill the shelves everyday here," a Costco staff said.
Compared with Asian food retailers, American supermarkets only have limited flavors of mooncakes. Nevertheless, costumers said they tasted very authentic and the prices were acceptable.
"This is the first time I am buying mooncakes from Costco," said Wang, a Chinese-American in his 70s. "They are bigger than the ones I used to get, I like these double-yolk ones. They also have those panda-shaped mooncakes for kids, very cute."
Tomas Kotab, who lives in the east part of LA County, also noticed that many American supermarkets adapted to the demographic changes of his neighborhood, while many Asian grocery stores and businesses have existed in decades next to 7-Elevens and McDonald's.
"You can notice a lot of different food when they try to cater for the immigrant communities. Now they have mooncakes on sale to celebrate the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival," he said.
Although most of the American supermarkets that sell mooncakes are located at or near Chinese communities, it dose not mean their costumers are of Chinese origin only.
Steve Newman, an Angeleno, told Xinhua that he learned about the Mid-Autumn Festival from his Chinese co-worker and egg yolk mooncakes is his favorite.
Newman used to get mooncakes at an Asian food supermarket, which is half-an-hour's drive from his home.
"Couple days ago, I found out that Costco sells mooncakes too, that is very convenient cos I live five minutes away."
This year, major LA attractions, such as the Huntington Library, the LA County Arboretum, will hold events to celebrate the traditional Chinese festival.