Showing posts from June, 2009

Making Zong Zi 包粽子

Zong Zi is a Chinese traditional food for the Duan Wu Festival, or commonly known as the Dragon Boat festival. It falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. The story behind these bamboo leave wrapped pastries goes as follows. In the Zhou dynasty, a well-respected prime minister, Qu Yuan, wrote a sincere and constructive criticism on the government, and presented it to the emperor. As with many incompetent predecesors before him (and many more to follow) in Chinese history, the empror fired him. In his dispair, he jumped into the river and killed himself. The people of Zhou made these zong zi with rice and various food fillings, and threw them into the river in the hopes that the river creatures would eat these zong zi instead of his body. I suppose the bamboo leaves act as a delivery system so the food is not instantly washed away. It is somewhat of a romantic story. But what's really important is that this is one of the time-honored traditions for f…