The sweet smell of spring in Suzhou

In the second month of the lunar calendar, fermented rice starts to go on the market. It is recorded in the second volume of “Wujun Suihua Jili” “Selling Jiuniang”: “In early February, people in the city steamed glutinous rice and made koji medicine to make fermented glutinous rice. The taste is sweeter than honey, and the color Fu Qianbi.” The fermented rice has a sweet taste and low alcohol content, so it can be eaten by both young and old.

In spring, Suzhou people’s favorite wine-making products should be Jiuniang cakes. Yuan Mei wrote in “Suiyuan Food List”: “Use fermented glutinous rice as yeast to ferment Yousong.” In Suzhou’s traditional Jiuniang cake, fermented glutinous rice is kneaded into the pie crust, and the filling is usually rose filling or bean paste filling.

The rose filling contains pine nuts, melon seeds and rose petals; the red bean paste contains pine nuts and dried osmanthus. Jiuniang cake is best eaten hot, the dough is soft but slightly crunchy, with a faint aroma of fermented glutinous rice; the sugar suet oil melts at high temperature, blends with roses and bean paste, tastes sweet, fat and glutinous, and has an endless aftertaste



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