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The time has come to enjoy qingtuan
By:Wu Qiong  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2018-03-08 19:07

Qingtuan is one of Shanghai people’s favorite snacks. [Photo/WeChat account: Shanghai Tourism]

As China’s Qingming Festival (also known as Tomb Sweeping Day) is one month away, residents in Shanghai began to queue up in front of food stores and restaurants to buy their favorite snack: qingtuan (green rice balls).

Some time-honored Shanghai stores like Xinghualou are putting out their best qingtuan for the occasion.

Pastry cooks start to make qingtuan early in the morning. [Photo/WeChat account: Shanghai Tourism]

Qingtuan fresh from the oven [Photo/WeChat account: Shanghai Tourism]

Qingtuan is a traditional food in southern China. Made of rice flour and wormwood juice, qingtuan are usually stuffed with red bean paste. To appeal to more consumers, food stores have been experimenting with new flavors.

Take Xinghualou for example, it is now offering several different stuffings, including the most sought-after pork floss and egg yolk stuffing. As the food is handmade to keep its freshness, people always have to wait for an average of three hours to buy one. According to Zhang Jiquan, a pastry cook at the traditional food store, the mixed stuffing contains three types of pork floss. Each morning at 5 a.m., dozens of pastry cooks at the store begin to work and prepare qingtuan.

Xinghualou serves three different flavors of qingtuan this year. [Photo/WeChat account: Shanghai Tourism]

This year, Xinghualou also introduces a new variety of qingtuan, which is made of purple sweet potato flour and filled with the traditional red bean paste. With healthy ingredients and a nice appearance, the new product has caught the attention of many customers soon after it came out.