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Chinese students ‘over the moon’ as canteen serves Mid-Autumn Festival treat of mooncakes with stir-fried tomatoes

A vocational school canteen in China served up a winning combination after preparing an unusual “Mid-Autumn Festival” dish of stir-fried tomatoes with mooncakes, mainland media reports.

Students liked the specially prepared meal so much that all 180 portions were sold out within five minutes of them being made, the news website Paper.cn reported.

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Canteen staff at Hangzhou Xiaoshan No 2 Secondary Vocational School in the city of Hangzhou, in Zhejiang province, said they offered the different combination of ingredients to being some festive cheer to students, the report said.

The festival is an annual public holiday for families, which includes the lighting of lanterns in celebration of the full moon.

“I tried out some other flavours, including stir-fried peppers and Hami melon with mooncakes before I came up with the final decision of using tomatoes,” said the canteen’s head chef Zhu Jian.

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Zhu said the cost of the dish was about 5 yuan per person, but they had offered it to students for only 2 yuan as they wanted to make the students feel right at home.

One student told the news website that she was “totally won over” by the dish’s unusual sweet-and-sour combination.

Many other students posted messages on the instant messaging app,

WeChat, asking to know when they could have the same dish again, the report said.

A number of school and college canteens in China have been serving up unusual combinations for lunch in recent years, including chicken with oranges, peaches with pork and grapes with tomatoes – all of which were normally soon snapped up by students bored with the regular offerings.