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Longquan's spring flavor

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: March 18, 2024 L M S

As spring approaches, many forms of life are awakening from their slumber. In Longquan, Lishui, Zhejiang province, spring also heralds the arrival of a culinary celebration centered around freshness and seasonal delicacies.


Qingtuan — sweet green glutinous rice balls. [Photo/WeChat account: wxlishui]

One such delicacy is qingtuan — sweet green glutinous rice balls traditionally eaten during Qingming Festival in spring. This treat comes in both sweet and savory variations. The former is filled with brown sugar, while the latter often features a filling of freshly harvested spring bamboo shoots. 


"Black rice" is made into rice balls. [Photo/WeChat account: wxlishui]

Another tradition of Longquan is eating "black rice" on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month. Glutinous rice is soaked in the juice of leaves picked from a special kind of tree nicknamed the "black rice tree", resulting in a distinctive black color.

After being steamed, the rice is stir-fried with an array of ingredients including brown sugar, minced mushrooms, and cured meat, producing a perfect combination of color, aroma, and taste.

During March and April, Longquan's fields teem with wild vegetables. These fresh greens are frequently incorporated into local dishes, imparting a burst of seasonal flavor to the dining experience.

Wontons filled with shepherd's purse are also a treasured delicacy, as are scrambled eggs with Chinese toon, which presents a unique taste. Both of these cherished treats bring the fresh flavor of spring to the people of Longquan.