Glutinous rice balls with pine pollen

Updated: Apr 14, 2022 chinadaily.com.cn Print
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Songhua tuanzi, or glutinous rice balls with pine pollen, is a snack unique to Suzhou New District. [Photo/WeChat account: sndlyj]

Songhua tuanzi, or glutinous rice balls wrapped with pine pollen, is a snack unique to Suzhou New District in East China's Jiangsu province.

Shortly after the Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, which usually falls in early April, the snack will hit the market with the ripening of pine tree cones.

What makes the chewy snack even more unique and precious is not only the complicated process by which the pollen is picked and sieved, but also the short fully-ripened period of merely 20 days.

The process of making the glutinous rice balls is similar to those of other traditional Chinese pastries, in which the glutinous rice flour is mixed with cold boiled water and kneaded into a dough, steamed in a pot and then cut and squeezed it into small balls. The balls are then wrapped with black sesame and filled with white sugar, before finally being rolled in the pine pollen.

The best time to eat the balls is when they are slightly warm.

The chewy glutinous rice, followed by fresh and sweet sesame syrup, is sure to delight your taste buds.

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