Guess what are the three major festivals in Chinese culture?
They are Dragon Boat Festival (端午節), Mid Autumn Festival (aka Moon Festival, 中秋節), and Chinese Lunar New Year (農曆新年)! Did you get it right?
Major festivals or holidays are always related to delicious foods and historical stories.
Chinese people usually have rice dumpling (粽子, Zongzi) at the Dragon Boat Festival. Zongzi made with sticky rice and wrapped in bamboo leaves. There are two kinds of Zongzi that are the most common: one is usually stuffed with pork, salty egg yolk and other ingredients like chestnut or mushroom. The other type of Zongzi is usually stuffed with sweeten red bean paste or dates.
Besides the classic flavors as mentioned above, people have been creative and have come up with more fancy styles of Zongzi nowadays. For example, at Taiwan, some will stuff expensive ingredient like abalone, scallop or shrimp in Zongzi. A lot of people also consume Zongzi as dessert and stuff it with mochi or cream.
Traditionally, the fillings and the shapes of Zongzi vary in different areas. Here are some of the variation of Zongzi of different regions in China:
Minnam zong (閩南粽):
is prevalent at Fujian Province, which is made with braised pork, pork belly, peanuts and dried shrimps.
Huzhou zong (湖州粽) :
is originated from Zhejiang Province. It is known for the complicated preparation and procedure of cooking. Unlike traditional Zongzi in southern China, which is usually made in conical shape, Huzhou zong is made oblong.
Northern zong (北方粽):
is popular at areas such as Hebei or Shandong. Nothern zong is usually made as sweets with fillings like dates, dried fruits, red bean paste.
Last but not least, happy Dragon Boat Festival! Get ready to have some delicious Zongzi!