Our weekly serving of off-the-menu items—a few popular favorites from the week, as well as a few morsels that may have slipped your notice.

Photo courtesy of misbehave.

Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival with Meatless Mooncakes

The annual Mid-Autumn Festival (this year celebrated on today, September 13th), one of the biggest celebrations in China and other countries across Asia, is often characterized by the consumption of mooncakes, a traditional snack made with flaky pastry wrapped around a variety of fillings. Looking to replace some of the Shanghai-Suzhou-style mooncakes that are typically made with a minced pork filling, Beijing-based company is now selling artificial meat mooncakes, filled with a meat-like filling of wheat powder and pea protein.

Photo by Gabriela Worosz. Styled by Suzy Kim.

Hawaii’s Timeless Snack: Crack Seed

This piece from the New York Times chronicles the history, production and flavor of crack seed – a traditional Hawaiian snack made of dried, preserved fruit. Although ubiquitous in shops across the Hawaiian islands, these shriveled fruits, typically salted and sugared then simmered in a broth of medicinal herbs, might surprise the unfamiliar palate with their intense, punchy flavor described as “a full body sensation.”

Champagne Besserat de Bellefon Becomes Sustainable

Renowned champagne brand Besserat de Bellefon is being passed on to the youngest member of Baijot family (its historic owners) in 2020, and its new managing director plans to take the company in a new direction. In addition to updating the design of the classic Besserat bottles, reflecting a more simple and futuristic design, the brand will also focus on biodynamic farming and sustainable production.

Wall Sconce, 1996, by Dale Chihuly.

An Unexpected Influence: Biology and Design

Alongside the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s ongoing design triennale exhibit Nature, Harvard’s Wyss Institute is taking a closer look at how artists and designers have historically taken inspiration from nature and biology. The institute hopes to identify some of nature’s “design principles,” to be incorporated not only in art, but also engineering and technology.

Food That’s Not What it Seems

Hikaru Cho’s photo series “It’s not what it seems” transforms the power of skillfully-applied paint to transform one food into another. With tricks like painting a tomato into an orange, and a banana into a pickle, her photos depict surprises that subvert the senses.