Qingtuan: A refreshing taste of spring season
Foshan China 2023-02-28 17:41

Now it's the season when everything starts to grow. In the fields of Sanshui District, wormwood quietly emerges from the soil after being nourished by rain, fragrant and bright.

In spring, wormwood quietly burrows out of the soil and emerges with green buds in the fields of Sanshui District.

At this time of year, pastry cook Lin Songqiao will select fresh wormwood from the market to make Qingtuan, bringing this in-season tasty to customers.

Enjoy freshness of spring with in-season tasty

"There are varieties of mugwort. Those with yellowish leaves have a less bitter taste and are suitable for making soup. However, people prefer to make Qingtuan with the greenish wormwood that is more fragrant." At 7 a.m. on February 24, Lin Songqiao left home early to the Xinan market to buy wormwood.

Firstly, Lin Songqiao removed the withered leaves and hard stems. Since wormwood is bitter, blanching is a must-step when making Qingtuan. During blanching, she added a little baking soda to make the wormwood more emerald green. After about twenty or thirty seconds, and then she immediately picked out the wormwood.

After cooling in water, Lin will use blender to smash them into sap with some hot water. "Although these two steps may seem contradictory, but they are indispensable," said Lin. She further explained that leaving mugwort in cold water is to maintain the color and taste of wormwood. While the hot water added is to improve the viscosity of glutinous rice flour when kneading the dough.

Lin Songqiao is making Qingtuan.

Here comes the physical endeavor - kneading the dough. Lin poured the sap into the glutinous rice flour. An appropriate amount of sugar and wheat flour is needed. "Wheat flour can make Qingtuan less sticky and fresher, and it can also prevent the finished Qingtuan from collapsing, making it look better." After a few minutes, the sap merged with the snow-white powder and sugar grains, and the dough turned into turquoise.

Lin Songqiao is kneading the dough.

Next, Lin divided it into small balls of similar size, then kneaded them into bowls and added the fillings that are made by herself. At first she only made such flavors as peanuts sesame and red bean. But to meet various needs of people, she introduced 4 additional flavors of minced meat and dried radish, salted egg yolk and meat floss, etc.

After steaming, the color of Qingtuan is like emerald.

Qingtuan as a gift to convey emotion

Well-made Qingtuan

Every March of the year, it's the busiest time for Lin to make Qingtuan. "As the temperature rises in March, many people will travel to enjoy spring blossoms. They would love to bring Qingtuan and share with friends."

Why do people like to eat Qingtuan in spring? Qingtuan is a traditional snack. When Tomb-sweeping or Qingming Festival comes, people also have the custom of eating Qingtuan. Since southern China is humid in spring, warm-natured wormhood has good effect on cleaning damp. At this time, eating food made of wormwood can also prevent diseases and improve immunity. That's why Qingtuan has become one of the most popular spring delicacies in the southern China.

Besides, Qingtuan can also be a form of emotional attachment. Lin added that Qingtuan is one of her son's favorite pastries. As a mother, she also hopes that this delicacy can share with more people. Every year, many customers will order Qingtuan and regard it as a gift for best wishes. Therefore, this little Qingtuan reflects people's heaps of emotions.

Reporter | Linn

Revisor | Eddie, Jessica

Photo | Foshan Daily