Chinese New Year Food

by / Sunday, 25 January 2015 / Published in CNY

Regardless of religions, we tend to surround ourselves with food during the festive seasons. Food may include festive goodies, or traditional dishes depending on religions. For the Chinese, as part of our pre-festive preparation, they like to fill the house, in particular common living area, with festive goodies, for themselves and the guests. Such festive goodies have a large variety and they come in all sizes, tastes and shapes. Over the years, food manufacturers have also added in their innovations to make the festival more lively, targeting different audience crowd.

Many goodies take on different meanings in the Chinese belief. Take for instance, the pineapple tarts signify prosperity and wealth; and the various sweets and cookies are to signify having a sweet life after consuming them. It is wise to note that most goodies found will be flavorful as the Chinese believe in having a smooth life after eating them. At Papa Cookies, we make these cookies at your request! Many bakeries had replaced their manpower with machines today; but we, at Papa Cookies, still insist on producing handmade products in which we can control the amount of ingredients to be added. We bake with patience and precision. Not too sweet, yet addictive to many. Beware!

Of course, the Chinese New Year food does not stop at festive goodies. During the Chinese New Year Eve to the third day, families like to gather around a steamboat and have a meal together. It is interesting that these steamboats are usually round, which is to signify a complete and harmonious family. Sometimes, the older generation may prepare additional dishes to complement the steamboat, such as braised duck and sea cucumber, stir fry vegetables and pork.

Squeezing each other, eating food from the same pot, laughing and chatting over the steamboat is definitely something the Chinese all look forward to, nearing the festive season! In fact, it is the homely feeling that everyone loves coming home to, especially for big families when members of the family are usually away on uncoordinated periods.

Other Chinese New Year food includes another classic favourite: Bak kwa. It is basically a slice of pork roasted over charcoal pit to perfection. The oil from the pork slice will then drip out during the roasting process, which gives the slice of bak kwa its glossy oil texture when cooked. Think chinese style bacon? You are on the right track!

Another essential during the Chinese New year is the mandarin oranges. The bright colour of oranges lifts up the mood of the festival. Usually packed in boxes of 12 to 36, households will buy several boxes depending on circumstances. These oranges can be used for greeting the host when visting a house, or for prayers’ purpose.