Zongzi is like the tamale of the east, wrapped in bamboo leaves and stuffed with sweet sticky rice and other ingredients. Many generous people have fed me zongzi these past few days so I decided to make a video about eating this glutenous treat.
Today is the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, and to celebrate, Chinese people cook and eat Zongzi (粽子), AKA the tamale of the east. To cook this chewy delicacy, the bamboo leaf-wrapped packages are tied shut with string and either boiled or steamed. Opening and eating zongzi is like opening a sticky little Chinese Christmas present.
Depending on regional differences, zongzi varies in shape and ingredients. Some are pyramid-shaped, others have a tamale shape. In the Shandong Province where I live, the common ingredients I’ve seen in zongzi have been red bean paste and Chinese red dates.
Eating too much of this glutenous holiday treat will upset your stomach and you might have trouble going to the bathroom. I read that some Chinese doctors recommend eating zonzgi with vegetables to help ease the digestion process. Today, I’m enjoying my zongzi with green tea.
If you’re a foreigner living in China, expect to eat a lot of this stuff in June during the Dragon Boat Festival. Friends and strangers have been handing me these sweet leaf-wrapped snacks for days now. The triangle-shaped ones that I eat in the video were given to me by my superiors at Rizhao Polytechnic College and the tamale-shaped ones were given to me by a woman in a nearby convenience store.