Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dim Sum means "touch the heart": Celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day

Celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day with Treats that “touch the heart”
Dim Sum means "the heart's delight" or "touch the heart."

Chinese New year, can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February, due to cyclical lunar dating.
• On the Chinese calendar, 2010 is Lunar Year 4708.
• On the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on Sunday, February 14, 2010 — The Year of the Tiger.
• This year, the date has special significance since it also happens to fall on Valentine's Day making it a doubly auspicious day to celebrate in the West.

To celebrate both Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day this year, indulge in a variety of dumplings called dim sum.
• In Cantonese, dim sum means "the heart's delight" or "touch the heart."

These delicious little treats come mainly in the form of steamed and fried dumplings containing a wide array of fillings.
• They are usually served in tiers of bamboo steamers or small to medium-sized plates (so that many different varieties can be sampled)
• Or they are served like "dessert carts" that is a cart filled with several different types for people to pick and choose from.

You can make your own—or even better go to one of the many Chinese restaurants that have opened in the metropolitan area.
• It is a fun experience as little carts are wheeled around the restaurant.
• Even if you don’t know what these are, it is easy to out which ones you want from the cart to the server.
• And a picture menu is usually provided to remove some of the mystery.

One of the best known desserts is eight precious rice pudding. A steamed dish decorated with honeyed or candied fruit that is served with a sweet syrup.
• Usually it contains eight kinds of dried candied fruits, and popular at New Year’s as eight is considered an auspicious number.
• The word eight sounds similar to words that mean “prosper” or “wealth.”
• Only ¼ cup of dried fruit like California raisins counts as one fruit serving and helps meet your recommended 4 servings of fruit/day.
• Sometimes a coin will be inserted into the pudding. The person who finds the lucky coin will have the most fortune for the rest of the year

Tiger characteristics and predictions
• Tiger years are explosive. They usually begin with a bang.
• The Tiger's essence is that of nobility.
• In life and in love, the tiger personifies grandness.
• Tigers are loyal, humanitarian and fiercely protect those entrusted to their care
• Tigers will rule the jungle this year!