Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit

Friday, February 04, 2011

Ed Schoenfeld, dubbed long ago by Gourmet magazine as "the curator of Chinese food in America," and Grace Young, author of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories, discuss foods and rituals for the Chinese New Year. This year is the year of the rabbit.


Ed Schoenfeld and Grace Young

Comments [8]

Ruth from New Rochelle

a New Year custom: a young woman told me that she and her sister went to a fish store on the Lower East Side, bought a live fish (carp?) and released it into the East River. Very symbolic, giving life and freedom to a living thins.

Feb. 04 2011 12:59 PM

great show!!!

I know that Mao abbreviated Chinese medicine but Jesuits had preserved it in france and Italy (incl etheric points!!!)

I unwittingly did good - wanting to eat chinese food I made potstickers for dinner last night

Feb. 04 2011 12:58 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The Taiwanese custom of eating sweets for a sweet year sounds similar to the Jewish practice of eating apple slices dipped in honey on Rosh HaShanah for a sweet year.

Feb. 04 2011 12:55 PM
Leah from NYC

*All* of East Asian culture has developed w/ a lunar New Year. Most Japanese people may have left it behind, but not all -- and the same goes for Koreans -- regardless of whether the country itself has adopted western New Year officially.

BTW, I wonder about the impact on the world of sea cucumbers and other traditional feast items as Chinese N.Y. approaches. With vast numbers of formerly impoverished Chinese people gaining wealth, I see this as just one more decimation threat due to cultural niceties. (The same phenomenon has put pressure on rhino poaching -- according to tradition in China, the horn helps with male (human) virility -- even though it's been proven that the horn has no more effect in that regard than any odd fingernail paring...)

Why golden rabbit? The twelve zodiac signs are assigned a succession, each 12 years, of a different element. The element in this case must be metal, I guess. Why interpreted as "gold"? Another example of the money mania?

/end of rant

p.s. did anyone mention that the lunar new year is always associated w/ a full moon ?

Feb. 04 2011 12:49 PM
Elaine from Queens

Could your guests explain the menu item that consists of partially incubated eggs? The chick embryos are eaten....personally I was unable to stomach this, but would like to know what's behind it. Thanks.

Feb. 04 2011 12:49 PM
a listener

American southern culture has many "superstitions" about food and luck and the changing calendar

Feb. 04 2011 12:45 PM

Leonard just asked whether the Japanese ever celebrated the "Chinese" lunar New Year, and both Ed and Grace said no, "not ever". Well, they did, before the Meiji Restoration, Japan celebrated the New Year based on the Chinese lunar calendar.

Feb. 04 2011 12:41 PM
mwong from nyc


today is the second day. 2/3 is officially the day and thusly 2/2 was the eve.

Feb. 04 2011 12:38 PM

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