Liangnong rice cake
The son of Mei Boqiao, an inheritor for the making techniques of Liangnong rice cake, makes the dessert. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Liangnong rice cake, which is usually stuffed with soybean paste, is a renowned snack in Lingnong town, Yuyao city, Ningbo.
There are over 100 snack bars selling the rice cake across the town and the one run by Mei Boqiao, an inheritor of the cooking technique for Liangnong rice cake is arguably the most famous.
Liangnong rice cake, which is listed as an intangible cultural heritage in Ningbo, was once used as tribute to the royal family and has a history of more than 300 years, according to Mei's son.
He revealed that he has made some innovations to the traditional techniques that have been passed down through the generations in his family.
For example, instead of sticking with just the traditional soybean paste, he has introduced versions stuffed with sesame, black rice, blueberry, pine blossoms and osmanthus blossoms.
In Liangnong, there's a longstanding tradition which still exits today – a man who is engaged must present to his future father-in-law rice cakes during the Dragon Boat Festival.
The cakes need to be carried to the fiancée's home and distributed by his wife-to-be to her family members and friends. This act symbolizes the sharing of happiness.
The wife will then carry rice cakes to her in-law's home on the first Dragon Boat Festival after their marriage.
Liangnong rice cake, once a tribute to the royal family, has a history of more than 300 years. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]