Young female entrepreneur brings new life to traditional food of E China's Shandong

(People's Daily Online) 09:20, February 06, 2023

Zang Chaiyuan, a young female entrepreneur, has brought a new lease of life to Huabobo, a type of traditional steamed bun in east China's Shandong Province.

Photo shows Zang Chaiyuan and a rabbit-shaped Huabobo she made. (Photo/Sun Ruijiao)

"Huabobo is very common in the region. Almost all households prepare the food before the Spring Festival to wish for a prosperous year," said Zang. "Our company’s Huabobo, which features this year's zodiac sign, the rabbit, is very popular."

Boasting a long history, the steamed bun comes in different shapes and is brightly colored. Served on special occasions such as celebrations, festivals, weddings and birthdays, it has been listed as a provincial-level intangible cultural heritage item.

Zang, who started a Huabobo business two years ago, made the food with ingredients including flour, eggs, milk, sugar and yeast, leaving out the unhealthy pigments used in the old days. She explained that the green, red, and yellow pigments are derived from spinach, red yeast rice and pumpkin respectively.

Zang Chaiyuan promotes Huabobo on short-video platforms. (Photo/Sun Ruijiao)

She has been uploading short videos of her making the handicraft online since the second half of 2022. "Many young people asked me to teach them, and gave me some new ideas as well," she explained. She added that the traditional handicraft has gained more vitality and popularity through short-video platforms, and many of her trainees have earned higher incomes.

"The young generation is key to inheriting traditional handicrafts," she said. "As long as the traditional handicrafts are valued by the young, they will be passed down from generation to generation.”

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


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