Life in China: A Picture A Day, February 28, 2016

This is a dessert called tangyuan. It is traditionally eaten for the Lantern Festival because the balls are thought to look like the full moon. I am late sharing this since the Lantern Festival was almost a week ago, but, since we were away, we are just finally eating the ones we bought. “Tangyuan” literally translates as “round balls in soup” and they are often served in a sweet soup, but can also be steamed or fried. Ours were frozen and we just had to put them in boiling water for a few minutes (until they floated). The outside is made of glutinous rice flour, and the sweet fillings are traditionally made from sesame, peanut and red bean. Today, there are also new kinds: we bought pink colored ones with purple sweet potato filling, and they were delicious!  Also pictured are the traditional white ones with black sesame filling, which we had last weekend at the Lantern Festival party where we live. In Chinese, “tangyuan” is pronounced much like “tuanyuan” which means “reunion,” so the tangyuan symbolize happy family reunions.