Chinese prefer to combine gourmet food with festivals and important occasions. The most interesting part of cuisine culture lies in the feast offered on various occasions, including festivals, birthday parties, weddings, funerals. Different occasions match with different cuisines.
Jiao Zi (Chinese Dumplings)
Dumpling is the representative of Chinese traditional food, which is indispensable in Northen China household during the holidays. Because it is shaped like the ancient Chinese gold or silver ingots, dumpling symbolizes wealth. In the New Year's Eve, all family members try to gather to have the reunion banquet. People may hide a coin in dumpling when they make it, and the people who find the coin will likely to make a fortune in the coming New Year.
Dumpling can be filled in various stuffing, and the most typical flavor is the chopped leek and pork. Steaming, boiling or pan-frying all is cooking methods to cook dumpling. The authentic way to eat is dipping the dumpling to some seasoning.
On the other hand, dumpling can be a fast food with good nutrition. You don’t need to cook other dishes when you plan to eat dumpling on big occasions. It already has the rich content inside! Today, people will find different kinds of deep-frozen dumplings in supermarket.
Nian Gao (New Year Cake)
Niangao is an indispensible food in Chinese New Year for the meaning of thriving in the New Year. It’s a kind of Chinese cake, made by sticky rice flour and brown sugar, or meat and spring onion. It is Southerners' favorite New Year food. The shape is round. In Chinese, ‘Gao' has the same pronunciation with the word meaning ‘High', and ‘Nian' means year. So ‘Nian Gao' is a symbolization for gaining improvement in life year by year. What's more, the round shape means family reunion.
Zongzi is a traditional food of Dragon Boat Festival. Generally speaking, Zongzi is made of sticky rice with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. Different regions of China have their own flavors of Zongzi. For example, in Southern China, you will find fat pork soaked in soy sauce or bean paste in the middle of the sticky rice. While Zongzi in northern China often uses dry dates as filling, and there is also a kind of Zongzi without any fillings. The most common shape of Zongzi is pyramidal or triangular.
Making Zongzi can be challengeable. People should make the bamboo or reed leaves into a funnel shape and place the rice inside, and then use the straw or thread fasten it.
Moon cake is the most popular food in Mid-autumn Festival. It is a kind of cookie with fillings of lotus seed, the yolk of preserved eggs, apricot kernel, olive kernel, green pea, sesame, dry mushroom, shrimp, tangerine peel, lemon leaves, and so on, which can mainly be classify.
Tangyuan is a typical food in Chinese Lantern Festival. It’s a kind of dumplings in China. The fillings inside the tangyuan are various. Sesame is the most common filling. There is a slight difference between northern China and southern China. The filling is salty in northern China, while that is sweet in southern China.