In Hong Kong, one doesn't need a calendar to know September has arrived, because it's the time mooncakes begin appearing in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival . A traditional cake with a very long history, mooncakes are sinfully bad for you - high-calorie parcels of diet-blasting ingredients such as duck-egg yolks and lotus-seed paste. Most nutritionists recommend eating no more than a sliver at a time. Enter a new generation of mooncake manufacturers looking to cash in on health-conscious Hongkongers seeking new taste sensations. Most modern mooncakes substitute the oily baked crust with glutinous rice - 'snowy mooncakes' - or gelatine. The fillings range from fruity - mango and strawberry - to the decidedly odd - durian and champagne truffle. All of them are designed to catch the shopper's eye, but do they pass the taste test? The Young Post gathered five students, an expatriate teacher and a former chef to sample some of this year's modern mooncake flavours. The panel tried mango, black-tea apple, chocolate, pandan, blueberry cheese, green tea, custard and caviar. One hour and seven ruined appetites later, the panel was divided as to the winning recipe, with Starbucks' apple black tea bliss - a flavour combining Uva tea from Sri Lanka and sweet apple - closely drawn with Wing Wah's blueberry cheese snowy mooncake. Taipan's caviar mooncake trailed not far behind. The Starbucks flavour was especially popular with the non-locals. Travis Dupree, a teacher at CNEC Lee I Yao Memorial Secondary School, found the taste 'subtle and interesting'. 'I like traditional mooncakes, but I'd definitely eat these again,' he said. Fifteen-year-old Tanya Mehta from the Delia School of Canada said the Starbucks apple mooncake was her favourite. 'I'm going to ask my Mum to buy this kind.' However, local taste buds were more drawn to Wing Wah's blueberry cheese creation. 'This tastes just like blueberry cheesecake,' said 17-year-old Yuki Pan Yuen-yi from CNEC. 'I like it because it's not too sweet,' said former chef Tsui Bui-ming, 81, but she added it was still no substitute for the real thing. 'I would never replace traditional ones with these.' Taipan's caviar mooncake was a sleeper hit. 'Yummy! It tastes just like cheese,' said Esther Chow Hoi-ting, 17, also from CNEC. The caviar flavour was a top pick for Shruti Srinivasan, 17, from Delia School, even after the vegetarian realised what caviar was. 'I'd sneak out to buy these,' she said.