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Spring Festival Food

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Written by: Sherine ZHANG
Photo by:From Internet Source
Edited by:James Campion |  Date:2016/02/16153 Hits

Celebrating the Earth coming back to life, the Spring Festival is the moment for families to reunite, the moment to exchange best wishes and absolutely, the time to eat. Spring Festival food customs vary from place to place in China, but the spirit underlying the diverse food of the New Year is the same: a sincere wish of peace and happiness for family members and friends.

 

Nian Gao (New Year Cake)

 

Nian Gao, which translates as "New Year Cake", plays a more important part than dumplings in southern China. Nian Gao is a sweet, sticky, brown cake made from glutinous rice flour and brown sugar. After steaming over a high heat and cooling down, it is cut up into rectangles to have a pure taste of flexibility and chewiness. Made from simple material, Nian Gao can be prepared in a number of different ways such as steamed, fried, fried with eggs or even eaten cold. In Guangdong and Hong Kong, people usually add ginger juice or red dates to make Nian Gao more distinctive with delicate flavor.

 

Nian Gao is often given as a gift because of its auspicious meaning. In Chinese, Gao is a homonym for high, symbolizing progress and promotion at work and in daily life year by year.

 

Jai (Vegetarian Dish)

 

Eating Jai, a kind of vegetarian dish, is part of the Buddhist culture to clean oneself with vegetables, representing a kind of spiritual practice to maintain pure and peace in the New Year. It’s also packed with good-luck foods such as sea moss for prosperity; lettuce for vitality; lotus seeds for children/birth of sons; noodles for longevity; Chinese black mushrooms to “fulfill wishes from east to west”, and more.

 

Jin duei (Sesame Seed Balls)

 

Jin duei is the Cantonese name for deep fried glutinous rice balls with sesame, the indispensable food during Spring Festival for Guangdong people. Jin duei, made from glutinous rice flour and sesame, needs to be turned continually to expand when being fried in the oil pan. When cooled down, it is rubbed in the shape of balls with hands. Jin duei is the combination of superior materials and proficient skills.

 

The golden-ball-look Jin duei is popular not only because of its auspiciousness of having an abundance of gold, but also on account of the sesame covered on its surface which symbolizes having a lot of children and grand-children.