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Taste of New Year: Festive rice, flour products

en.nantong.gov.cn Updated: 2024-01-12

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Raw buns ready to be steamed. [Photo/WeChat account: jshmrb]

As the Spring Festival is drawing near, many Chinese families have already started preparing festive foods for the big day. For natives of Nantong, Jiangsu province, certain special rice and flour products are indispensable, symbolizing reunion, happiness, and a better life.

At the north gate of the Dongzhou Farmer's Market, strands of steam rise continuously from the Zhang Zhou Food Shop, permeating the entire alley with the sweet smell of rice.

Beloved for its delicious buns, steamed rice cakes, and steamed glutinous rice balls, the food shop has become a local favorite, crowded with an even larger number of eager customers than usual in recent days.


Steamed rice cakes. [Photo/WeChat account: jshmrb]

To meet the rising demand, the owners of the shop often start their busy day as early as 3:30 am by making fillings and kneading dough to be used for steamed stuffed buns.

By noon, it is time to get to work on steamed rice cakes and glutinous rice balls. With dexterous hands, the shop owner rolls dough into a stuffed rice ball in just 30 seconds. She said that they now make nearly 1,000 buns, about 600 rice balls, and 150 kilograms of steamed rice cakes to meet recent daily demands.

However, it is not the busiest time yet. In about 15 days, the owners of the Zhang Zhou Food Shop anticipate hardly having the time to take a breath, let alone complete all the orders they receive.