您当前的位置 : 东北网  >  English  >  Culture  >  Folk Culture

Across China: Remote mountain Zongzi leaves a cash cow for locals

//english.dbw.cn  Author:  Source:xinhua  Editor:Yang Fan  2022-06-06 15:54:52

Workers arrange Zongzi leaves at a company in Sangzhi County, central China's Hunan Province, April 19, 2022. (Xinhua)

New York City resident Catherine Zhang made her way down to the nearby Chinatown to buy Zongzi, a traditional Chinese delicacy wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves, for the Dragon Boat Festival celebration.

For Chinese people, making and eating Zongzi or glutinous rice dumplings is the most iconic way of celebrating this annual traditional festival, which fell on Friday this year.

"Every time I have Zongzi, the fragrance of its leaves reminds me of my hometown," said Zhang, who travelled to the United States from central China's Hunan Province.

Meanwhile, a remote mountainous county called Sangzhi in Zhang's hometown of Hunan has been associated with Zongzi for many years, as it is one of the best sources of Zongzi leaves in China. The sales volume of frozen Zongzi leaves from Sangzhi accounts for 70 percent of the whole Chinese market.

"Our domestic sales are mostly sold to large food factories in provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, while our exports are sold to the European, American and Southeast Asian markets," said Peng Keke, general manager of a Zongzi leaves company in Sangzhi County.

"Thanks to these leaves, we are able to stay financially afloat," said Wu Shiyun, a staff member working with the company. The Zongzi leaves have generated stable jobs and decent incomes for the locals, including farmers, stay-at-home moms, and people with disabilities.

"During the epidemic, the demand for pre-made and frozen food increased, and the market for Zongzi leaves grew as a result," said Peng.

Over 60,000 farmers in the county use Zongzi leaves to enhance their yearly per capita revenue by more than 5,000 yuan (750 U.S. dollars), according to the latest data.

Surrounded by misty clouds, humid air, and abundant water all year round, the county's temperate climate boasts favorable conditions for the growth of Zongzi leaves.

There are over 18,000 hectares of wild bamboo leaves in the county, mostly growing on high mountains elevated more than 800 meters above the sea level.

"The leaves will become increasingly valuable to the county's economy," said Zhang Zeping, a staff of the forestry bureau of the county.

"In the foreseeable future, we will develop 'zongzi leaves culture' to expand the value chains of the leaves. Our goal is to make the fragrance of these remote mountain leaves spread far and wide," Zhang added. -

Workers arrange Zongzi leaves at a company in Sangzhi County, central China's Hunan Province, April 19, 2022. (Xinhua)