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Spring culinary delights in Taizhou: A feast for the senses

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: March 12, 2024 L M S


Chinese milk vetch stir-fried with rice cakes, a popular spring delicacy in Taizhou, East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo/WeChat account: tzfb001]

The advent of spring in Taizhou has not only brought new life but also a vibrant tapestry of fresh and delectable dishes, offering a sensory delight for locals and visitors alike.

This time of year brings an abundance of seasonal vegetables, including shepherd's purse, Chinese milk vetch, and bamboo shoots, to the city located in East China's Zhejiang province.

Shepherd's purse, packed with vitamin C, dietary fiber, and an assortment of minerals, is renowned for its detoxifying and heat-clearing properties. Particularly during spring, when weariness and diminished appetite are common, consuming shepherd's purse aids in rebalancing the body and fortifying immunity.

In Taizhou, shepherd's purse is crafted into diverse culinary delights. Locals relish using it as a filling for dumplings, in crispy spring rolls, and stir-fried with dried tofu. Its color, aroma, and flavor all help to whet the appetite.

Chinese milk vetch is one of the most prevalent wild vegetables in Taizhou during spring. Locals often stir-fry it with rice cakes. The resulting amalgamation of thinly sliced rice cakes and Chinese milk vetch in a sizzling wok emanates a fragrant and tender texture, capturing the essence of spring from the mountains and fields.

In addition to these primary ingredients, locals complement their dishes with fresh oysters, squid, dried eel, dried shrimp, and other condiments, ensuring freshness in every dish.

An extra traditional spring delicacy in the city that demands attention is qingtuan, a type of glutinous rice ball with a distinctive green outer layer and a delectable filling, cherished by many as a springtime delight.

Apart from vegetables, for the people of Taizhou, seafood forms an integral part of their dining experience. March marks the peak season for pomfret, while clams and river snails, available year-round, offer their most pronounced flavors around the Qingming Festival, which falls on April 4 this year.