For those who don’t know what these little parcels are, they are rice dumplings or zongzi and are traditionally eaten at the Dragon Boat Festival around June each year.
Glutinous rice is lined on the inside of the bamboo leaves, then different fillings such as belly pork, egg yolk, peanuts, dried Chinese mushroom is placed on top of the rice. Finally the dumpling is carefully folded into its unique diamond shape. The whole process takes quite a lot of time and effort as you have to pre soak the rice and bamboo leaves, prep all the filling, and then boil the dumpling for a couple of hours. Wrapping and tying the dumpling into the diamond shape is an art in itself, and is quite difficult to master. You have to make sure the rice is wrapped all around the filling, and that there is no leakage when the dumpling is boiled.
All these zongzi here are hand made by friends in Taiwan. Each zongzi is unique, as is each friend. To me, they’re not just a celebration of an old Chinese festive season, a traditional snack and a gift. They are a sign of friendship, warmth and love from people whom I’ve only known for a few months. Thank you.