Forgive us if we're not surprised that Hongkongers last year threw away enough mooncakes to cover 25 basketball courts, as reported by the environmental group Green Power. Have you ever tasted these things? OK, that was unkind. What we mean to say is, mooncakes aren't for everyone. These discus-shaped highlights of the Mid-Autumn Festival look tempting enough, especially when dressed in the cellophane and boxed trappings that seem to grow more elaborate every year. But their taste is something only a traditionalist can love. Mooncakes are not light, not sweet. They sometimes give off a slightly sulphurous tang. They feel a bit like chalk in the mouth. Everybody is supposed to like mooncakes, of course, because of their associations with the holiday and family times. But we suspect they play the same role in Chinese society as the dreaded fruitcake does at Christmastime in Britain and America. If you receive a fruitcake, you might actually eat a small piece or two out of politeness - not enjoyment, certainly. And when the remnants become sufficiently stale, you throw them out. The mooncake industry is obviously saddled with the basic problem that many people have an aversion to its product. Witness the strenuous efforts to create revisionist mooncakes - cheesecake, coffee, chocolate, custard and low-fat versions - to appeal to the modern palate. Not appealing enough, apparently. Last year, Hongkongers discarded 2.12 million mooncakes, 12 per cent more than in 2009, the survey showed. If so few people are going to eat them, perhaps mooncakes should be made of asphalt. Then we could cover up those basketball courts and resurface them at the same time.