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Location: Ontario, Canada

Paying Fancy Prices to Pretend that I Have A Fancy Life

2005/06/13

Dream on Boat

Two days ago, my landlord invited me to his boat. Coincidentally, it was Chinese Dragon Boat Festival that day. Usually I would eat Zong Zi (or Rice Tamale), wear Hsiang Bao (or Sachet), and watch Dragon Boat race to celebrate this festival. This year, however, all of these are only tengible in my dream. But I finally got to play on a boat, which was my dream when I watched the boats racing at a young age.


This festival originated from a story of the famous ancient poet Qu Yuan. Disappointed at the government, Qu Yuan threw himself into the Milow river in his sorrow. Because of their admiration for him, the local people living adjacent to the Milow River rushed into their boats to search for him while throwing rice into the waters to appease the river dragons and fish so that they wouldn't devour Qu Yuan. From this point of view, Chinese people are so obsessed with food that they think everything (humans and non-humans) lives in this world for a common reason - food. Food can satisfy the God, the ghost, animals, ancesters, and ourselves of course. That's why every celemony and event comes with special food in Chinese culture.

I am not a big fan of sticky rice food. But having Zongzi and realgar wine is the tradition for thousands of years. The food itself becomes less important than the culture residing in it. In different parts of China, people wrap different things in Zongzi. Jiaxing District, south to Shanghai, is famous for its pork Zongzi, sometimes with salty eggs. The seasoned pork is well cooked and melts right away in your mouth. The roughness of salty eggs balances the sticky rice. Everything works together just perfectly.

I am paticular familiar with the pure rice Zongzi, which my mother wraps every year. Because of the purity of the rice, the fragrence of bamboo leaves (the wrappers) stands out. I usually dip this Zongzi in sugar or honey. The moment when my teeth touched the rice with honey was the best. I like the feeling of originally bound rice collapsing in my mouth.

I know the Asian Market here sells Zongzi. But I try to avoid eating Zongzi as something to fill me up. Some food is only tasty when shared with people who appreciate it.

4 Comments:

Blogger Sven said...

I like all these cultural references to food, more than I like food it self :) I also like the pic of you, it's a good one :)

6/13/2005 7:55 PM  
Blogger Pat Sajak said...

Wow! Has it already been a year since our 'zongzi' incident? :)

6/13/2005 11:13 PM  
Blogger Wéi said...

Oh, you still remember that? I bet you wouldn't wanna try it again, hahaha.

6/14/2005 1:58 PM  
Blogger Pat Sajak said...

Of course I remember! They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. :)

Although I wasn't crazy about zongzi, I certainly appreciated your thoughtfulness.

6/17/2005 12:13 PM  

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