Flower delicacies in Qingming period

The solar term Qingming is observed in early April when the temperature begins to rise and rainfall increases. During this time, some people will go out to enjoy spring and pick some flowers to make delicacies. 


Mayodendron flowers are blooming in spring. 

Seasonal delicacies

Compared with the northern cities of China, Yunnan’s spring comes early, bringing not only gorgeous scenery but also seasonal delicacies. 


Mayodendron flowers

In the Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna of Yunnan Province, mayodendron will flower when spring comes. Clusters of blooming yellow flowers can arouse the appetite of local people, because stir-fried mayodendron flowers is a favorite dish. 


Stir-fried mayodendron flowers are good in color, smell and taste. 

Boiling can reduce most of the bitterness, but the boiled flowers should be quickly cooled by cold water to store their fresh flavor and nutrients. Stir-fry shredded ginger and garlic in boiling oil until the fragrance is given off, then add chopped mayodendron flowers and green onions to stir. Of course, salt is indispensable before a delicious dish is ready. 


Bombax flowers

Wu Songjiang will go back to hometown and pick some bombax flowers to cook every year when the flowers are blooming. His hometown is located in Lijiao Town, Binchuan County, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan province. 


The blanched flowers are reserved for usage. 

“I have the habit of eating Bombax flowers when I was still a child,” Wu said. 

Bombax flowers are bitter, and some people think that they are not suitable for cooking. But people of Wu’s hometown can always find the right way to cook. 


Cleaning a preserved pig foot

After being toasted, cleaned and cut into pieces, the dried pig foot is boiled in water with Bombax flower stamens, which makes the whole farmyard full of fragrance. 


Pork feet stewed with Bombax flowers


Chinese aloe flowers

Although spring is charming, it is highly difficult to reserve. But people in Yuanjiang county, Yuxi city of Yunnan have always found ways to reserve the flavor of it. Pickled Chinese aloe flowers is one of them, and it is easy to make. Add some seasonings like salt, sugar and pepper into the cleaned fresh Chinese aloe flowers and stir them evenly. Then seal them into jars for three to four weeks. When open, they taste sour, spicy, crispy and refreshing. 


Pickling Chinese aloe flowers

The flower economy

Flowers are not only food for Yunnan people, but also boost the local economy. 

In Luoping county of Qujing city, large areas of rape flowers attract tens of thousand of tourists to appreciate, photograph and taste every February and March, which promotes the development of the whole industry chain of local tourism. 

It is the right time to pick roses in Yunnan in the following months. By then, cakes and sauce made of fresh roses will become a characteristic name card for Yunnan. 

In addition, some places of Xishuangbanna have developed a seasonal economy of delicacies from mountains. Picking and selling flowers can help villagers earn an income of tens to hundreds of yuan a day. 

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(Editors:Alison, Rachel)

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