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about entertaining, cooking, etiquette and more.
year, take two
how to host a Chinese New Year's feast
by Yee-Fan Sun
continued from page 4
In addition to the requisite nian
gao for New Year's, Chinese meals almost always end with some fruit.
Oranges and tangerines, which symbolize wealth and good luck, are
especially popular this time of year; if you can get them, pommelos make
a nice exotic touch (they look like grapefruit, but with firmer flesh
and a sweeter flavor; peel both the outer skin and the individual
sections to get at the fruit). It's also a good idea to have some light
nibbles for before and after the meal. While you're shopping for meal
ingredients for the party, keep an eye out for Asian snacks that strike
your fancy. Buy an assortment of sweet and savory treats to scatter in
bowls around the pad.
Chinese food is notoriously difficult to pair with wine, but fortunately
beer seems to make the ideal accompaniment. Tsingtao is perfect if you
can get it; if not, offer whatever lager-style beer you like, served
cold of course. For non-drinkers, tea makes a good choice -- jasmine tea
appeals to most tastes, but serve whatever Chinese tea you like. And if
you're feeling less traditional? Get schmancy with some ginger
martinis -- particularly nice as a before or after-dinner
In my family at least, an abundance of good food and a cacophony of
lively conversation are generally all that's needed to make any
gathering feel festive. But if you're looking to get more decorative, go
with red and gold galore accessories, as these are the colors
traditionally associated with the holiday (or, really, any happy
occasion). Fresh flowers, especially orchids and narcissus, add another
nice touch; meanwhile, make a trip to your nearest Chinatown (if you
have one) and you can find red paper lanterns, calligraphied red paper
couplets and more goodies to hang around the pad.
choose to go all-out with the decorations or keep the focus on the food,
remember to relax, have fun, and enjoy the company. And as the Chinese
say this time of year: Gong xi fa cai!
out these related articles:
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a chinese new year party
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