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Customers in capital line up for a taste of mouth-watering dumplings

By DU JUAN | China Daily | Updated: 2020-12-11 07:36
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During Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, long lines of customers wait outside Beijing bakery brand Daoxiangcun's stores in the capital.

The brand owns 218 stores and more than 1,000 counters in malls and supermarkets throughout the city.

Dong Shanshan, a 35-year-old Beijinger said: "I feel I'm missing something if I don't eat Daoxiangcun's yuanxiao (sweetened rice dumplings) during Lantern Festival. On the day, I traditionally buy them fresh from a Daoxiangcun store early in the morning."

For many people like Dong, eating Daoxiangcun's yuanxiao is an essential Lantern Festival tradition.

There are fillings in four flavors-black sesame, haw, nuts and cocoa.

Dong said, "Getting up early in the morning, putting on warm clothes and waiting in a long line outside a Daoxiangcun store to buy newly made yuanxiao is a sort of private ceremony for me and ensures I will have another sweet year."

Many customers don't wait for Lantern Festival, but start buying yuanxiao when the weather begins to turn cold.

The Beijing Daoxiangcun Food Co, which owns the brand and stores, recently staged an event to mark the official launch of yuanxiao being made at its factories.

Shi Yan, the company's deputy manager, said, "All our yuanxiao are handmade, because it is the only way to maintain the traditional flavor."

Even though there are many yuanxiao brands, some of which make frozen produce that keeps much longer, Daoxiangcun insists on providing traditional handmade dumplings.

To meet local demand, the company will demonstrate how yuanxiao are made at some of its stores in Beijing.

"Hopefully, this will bring a festive atmosphere to the city and its residents," Shi said. "Young people can learn how the traditional food is made and the culture surrounding this food can be carried forward and expanded."

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