Different Asian Cuisines and the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is a very unique holiday. It celebrates the start of the year, just like the New Year that we have on January 1. However, since it follows the lunar calendar, it often falls during January or February, but it is celebrated for much longer. This year it falls at the end of January on the 25.
But I decided to go ahead and make this month’s topic all about the Chinese New Year and Asian cuisine. Because anyone who knows me knows that next to my Southern comfort food, Asian food is my absolute favorite!
When most people think of Chinese food, they think of Chinese food, obviously. But there are so many other Asian cuisines, each with there own unique flavors and styles. Like Japanese, Mongolian, Mandarin, Thai, Korean, and Taiwanese.
The Western world has often found the food of the Asian cultures surprising and delicious. Perhaps it is because of its use of exotic ingredients not often found in Western dishes. Ingredients like soybeans, snow peas, bean sprouts, lotus roots, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, tofu, bok choy, squid and other seafood.
Asian cuisines also use many different types of seasonings traditionally found unusual to Western palates including ginger, seaweeds, sweet red bean paste, rice vinegar, fish sauce and sesame seeds.
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a very special time with many important symbols, rituals, traditions and celebrations. It is a time for families to get together and celebrate, wishing each other good fortune for the New Year ahead.
And with any celebration, food plays a central part in the celebration. Some of the traditional foods you would find at a Chinese New Year celebration include the following:
- Spring rolls
- Steamed Fish or Chicken
- Sweet Rice cakes
- Rice Balls
- Ginger Candy
- Persimmon Cakes
- Fruit Platters
- Eight Treasures Rice Pudding
- Spring Platters arranged with traditional fruits