Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tang Yuan

Tang Yuan

It has been awhile since I've eaten 'tang yuan' to welcome the arrival of the winter solstice. These colourful balls of glutinous rice rolled skillfully with the palm is cooked with black sugar and ginger among other ways of serving this dessert.

The name of the traditional dessert carries much meaning for the Chinese as it sounds like tuan yuan (reunion). Yuan, which means 'round' or 'a circle', is also an auspicious word that suggests yuan man (perfection).

To some, Dong Zhi or the Winter Solstice Festival is regarded as the second most important festival in the Chinese calendar, and is considered the thanksgiving of the Chinese calendar. It's a time for the entire family to get together to celebrate the past good year.

The large white ball is the original colour of the tang yuan while the green is made using pandan leaves (naturally produced) and the red through colouring (I presume). Nevertheless, it tastes good whatever colour it is and in this time of age, there are many different variations of this dessert which features filling such as peanut butter even!

Well, wishing all a great Winter Solstice Festival. I'm glad to have this dessert to warm me up when it's unusually cold this time of the year.

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