Qingtuan is a seasonal delicacy in the south of China around the Qingming Festival, which falls on April 5 this year.
During the rainy season, people are beginning to make qingtuan In the area south of the Yangtze River.
Every year around the beginning of April in Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province and Shanghai, there is always a long line waiting at snack stores selling qingtuan
Like other festive dishes, it is difficult to trace the taste of qingtuan after the Qingming Festival. Taking a bite of this soft and sweet snack is one of the most important things in spring for southern people, or it can be a waste of spring.
As local people say, the best qingtuan must be handmade.
The wrapped coat is made of sticky rice mixed with seasonal wild mugwort sauce. Wheat seedlings and green juice of other seasonal vegetables are added at the same time. The stuffing of qingtuan is made of red bean paste, adding more sweet to the snack.
There are slight differences between cities and areas of the taste of qingtuan. But in the eyes of gourmets, the difference is quite pronounced.
People from Shanghai favor qingtuan the most. There are many historic snack bars in the city that are famous for making qingtuan. It is said that around the Qingming Festival, a shop can sell an average of 50,000 in a day. The taste of qingtuan from Shanghai is not that sweet, but it is big and the smell of mugwort is very strong.
Changzhou city, in Jiangsu Province, was born with the ancient taste of qingtuan. Many pastry chefs experienced in making Qingtuan are gathered here alongside apprentices eager to learn. They also create other stuffing of sesame, meat pine egg yolk and shepherd's purse.
In Shaoxing city, Zhejiang Province, people make dumpling-ship qingtuan, filled with sesame and sugar, that are called mugwort dumplings.
In Lishui city, Zhejiang Province, when people mix the juice for the coat of qingtuan, they will add pine flowers. Qingtuan made with pine blossoms not only have a delicate crispness and sweetness, but also have the fragrance of pine trees.