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Shaoxing sees rice cake frenzy as new rice hits shelves

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: November 17, 2023 L M S

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Workers prepare to dispatch rice cakes for online orders in Xinchang county, Shaoxing. [Photo/Zhejiang Daily]

Shaoxing county in Shaoxing is buzzing with excitement as the new rice crop floods the market, propelling rice cake enterprises into a high-demand season.

From northern side dishes to southern delicacies, Shaoxing stands out as a place where rice cakes are not just a treat but a daily staple.

Two varieties dominate Shaoxing's rice cake scene: sweet sugar rice cakes, effortlessly steamed or pan-fried, and the versatile blank canvas of white rice cakes.

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Seasoned rice cakes are grilled. [Photo/Zhejiang Daily]

During Lunar New Year, every rural household in Shaoxing prepares two necessities: cured meat and rice cakes.

The communal process of making these treats is a grand affair, involving freshly harvested late-season rice and the collaborative efforts of entire villages. From soaking to steaming, the air is thick with the promise of festivities. The result: a transformation of texture and flavor.

The warm, freshly made rice cakes are shared, creating bonds among friends and neighbors. Whether air-dried or enjoyed immediately, they retain their soft, chewy essence for days.

For the people of Shaoxing, the soft and sticky sensation of rice cakes is not just a culinary delight but a nostalgic connection to home.