Culinary Tradition of the Chinese New Year

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Adminsitrator of Instagram handle @anakjajan and food bloggers Julia and Marius, shared tips on culinary tourism during Chinese New Year celebrations. "Look for foods that have meaning in Chinese New Year, such as layer cakes," said Julia to Tempo at Kota Kasablanka Mall, in South Jakarta on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.

    Julia said that the layer cake is a traditional Chinese New Year cake which represent layers of abundant luck and fortune. Julia added that basket cakes are also a-must-have in Chinese New Year.

    In terms of the fruits, pineapples and oranges are highly associated with Chinese New Year celebrations. "If it's time for Chinese New Yearfruit shops will definitely put oranges and pineapples on display," Julia said. Julia explained that pineapples means the arrival of fortune. Likewise, oranges are believed to bring good luck.

    Another iconic dish in Chinese New Year celebrations is fish dishes. "Fish (is interpreted as) the abundant fortune that continues to flow," said Julia. In Jakarta, one of the most sought after fish during Chinese New Year celebration is the milkfish.

    However, there is one most meaningful dish during Chinese New Year Celebration, the Yu Sheng. The Yu Sheng is a dish made by mix of food and fish. "Chinese New Year is also a time for family gatherings. Well, the Yu Sheng is one of the (culinary) traditions," added Marius.

    The Yu Sheng is a food provided when member of the families gather together to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which served as a symbol of prosperity and must be consumed together with the members of the family.

    Before eating the Yu Sheng, family members gather around the food and stir it together using chopsticks and lifting the food up on to the air. It is believed that the higher the food is lifted, the better the next year will be.

    BRAM SETIAWAN