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Chinese youth celebrates Lantern Festival with bizarre-flavored rice balls

(People's Daily Online)    17:10, February 19, 2019

Time-honored food brands in China have developed new flavors for glutinous rice balls, a traditional sweet dish served during the lantern festival, with many Chinese youth welcoming “a slice of” innovation to the ancient recipes.

Shared among family members, glutinous rice balls, or Tangyuan (汤圆), is a sweet dish made of glutinous rice powder with a filling traditionally made using red bean paste, sesame syrup, and brown sugar. Though delicious, many Chinese youth yearn for some innovation in the traditional dish, therein adding their favorite ingredients in the fillings.

“I’ve bought some rose-flavored rice balls for the upcoming Lantern Festival. It is fun to see some changes in the traditional flavor, as well as the addition of some new and modern elements to the ancient dish,” Zhang Xin, a 25-year-old girl in Beijing, told People’ Daily Online.

According to statistics from Taobao, China’s largest e-commerce platform, “flower rice balls,” which are made of rose, jasmine and Osmanthus petals, have all become the new favorite flavor among Chinese youth this year, with 360,000 packs sold within five days.

In addition to flowers, milk, chocolate, and salty egg yolk flavor are also popular choices. Dao Xiangcun, a time-honored dessert brand based in Suzhou, has launched its durian flavor rice balls, selling over 20,000 online.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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