In the honor of Chinese New Years and year of the Rooster, I thought it would be extra fun to share my thoughts on the six dishes that are usually associated with CNY. Meanwhile, I’ll provide some commentary below of each photo explaining the symbolism attached to the dish and describing what each dish tastes like. Depending what part of china a family comes from, each dish will slightly differ in preference of both looks and taste. Since my family identifies themselves as Cantonese, (from the coastal area in Southern China) the foods that I will be sharing will most likely reflect a Cantonese palette. Nevertheless, the goal of this post is to share some insight of what it’s like to eat at my family’s table during this holiday.
Let’s start with the noodles(Miàn)…
Moving on to the dumplings (Jiǎozi)…
Y’all know these spring rolls (chūnjuǎn) …
Now onto the fish (yú)
Rice cakes (niángāo)
Moving onto these little balls of gush (tāngyuán )
Most of the dishes I introduced today are some of the most agreed upon traditional dishes in many Chinese household. Eating huge platters of fruit is also very customary during CNY for it symbolizes good fortune and wealth, but yet again which dish for CNY doesn’t associate with Chinese new year doesn’t symbolize good fortune or wealth. Eating poultry such as duck and chicken is also very popular for CNY. I had the pleasure of talking to my grandma last week when she revealed to me that it was only during CNY farmers would eat poultry. In fact, this holiday was one that farmers in parts of China would take two weeks off, buy a new set of clothing and shoes for each of their immediate family members and spend the next two weeks rotating hosting dinner in each of their homes for their community. It was a huge deal!
I had the pleasure of talking to my grandma last week when she revealed to me that it was only during CNY time when farmers would eat poultry. In fact, this holiday was one that gave farmers in parts of China a two weeks break from toiling in the fields and an opportunity to buy a new set of clothing and shoes for each of their immediate family members and families would spend the next two weeks rotating hosting dinner in each of their homes for their community. It was a huge deal! Therefore, the meals during this time were symbolic for the hope of the new year.
I admit I am probably not thinking of each significance of every dish when I am eating the traditional foods for CNY. Nonetheless, all the symbolism of CNY sheds new insights of the importance of eating CNY meal together as a family. I hope everyone has a wonderful CNY, if your not celebrating it this year, make sure you get adopted to a Chinese family by next year. Until then, thanks for reading !