Lunar New Year is fast approaching, the produce aisle will be packed with consumers looking for fresh produce that will seize the good fortune for the upcoming year. Quality is not the only criteria that shoppers look for but also their symbolism when it comes to the Lunar New Year. Purvey'd introduces some of the most popular produce to secure luck, prosperity, and blessings for the year of the Tiger.
Daikon has a mildly sweet flavor with a crisp texture. Raw daikon has a light zesty flavor over the hints of sweetness. Daikon is great for soup and pickling. The Chinese character of daikon symbolizes good fortune and good omens. You may often spot daikon at the New Year's Eve dinner as the main ingredient in a turnip/radish cake.
Oranges are sweet and juicy. They are suitable for snacking as well as integrating into a variety of dishes. Oranges emblematize wealth and good fortune as the fruit looks like a gold coin. The Chinese character represents goodness and wellness. Oranges sized 40, 48, and 56 are especially popular during the Lunar New Year.
Napa cabbage has a mild, sweet flavor that may be used raw or cooked. Raw leaves have a crisp and crunchy texture while cooked cabbage is juicy and tender. Napa cabbage symbolizes prosperity and wealth. The Chinese character directly translates to "hundred wealth". It's commonly used for dumpling filling as well as cabbage wraps to symbolize retaining wealth for the upcoming year.
Apples are typically sweet and crisp depending on the variety. There are varieties with tart and sour flavors and softer flesh. Apples can be eaten raw or cooked as an ingredient for dessert. The apple signifies peace and harmonious life. The Chinese character is translated to "peace fruit". Apples are often gifted to friends and family as a blessing.
The Chinese chive has a mild onion flavor that goes well with poultry and stir-fry. Chinese chives are a symbol for eternity and long life. The Chinese character for chive translates to "long and everlasting". This serves as a great complementary ingredient for the Lunar New Year.
The pomelo has sweet juicy flesh with a floral finish. Pomelos may be eaten as is or used in fruit salads or desserts. The pomelo is symbolic of bringing good luck and family unity. Remember to prepare two pomelos as the popular saying goes "all good things come in pairs."