Notable Sweet Foods

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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There are some distinctive major categories of Chinese sweet foods. Round mooncakes (yue bing), commonly but not exclusively sweet, are eaten at the Mid-Autumn Festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, when people traditionally gather to admire the fullness of the autumn moon. See mooncakes. Another festival food found across the country is tang yuan or yuan xiao, the boiled glutinous rice spheres eaten at the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, symbolizing the sweetness of family reunion and marking an end to the Chinese New Year holiday. They are often stuffed with a sweet black sesame paste made glossy with lard.