Tang Yuan

This is a Chinese food called Tang Yuan
This is a Chinese food called Tang Yuan

A familiar smell wafted into my room as my Nai-Nai(grandmother in Chinese) appeared at the door with a bowl filled with Tang Yuan.  Tang Yuan is a  Chinese dish which basically consists of a mochi like texture on the exterior and a sweet black sesame filling.  I take a bite and the warm, chewy, sweet flavor of the Tang Yuan bursts into my mouth, overwhelming me with flavors.  Tang Yuan has always been one of the special treats my Nai-Nai makes for me everytime she visits.
       My Nai Nai only visited once a year since she lived in Bolivia, a part of South America.  Though she is of Taiwanese descent, when she was 30, she immigrated to Bolivia and opened a Chinese restaurant to make a living.  She could not speak English, so it helped me gain the languages Mandarin and Spanish in order to communicate with her.  Even though she is not here today, I still remember the Tang Yuan she would feed me every year.
      I remember when I was 8 years old and she taught me how to make Tang Yuan.  I do not remember every detail, but I recollect the major parts.  The doughy mochi part is made of gluttonous rice flour and water which is kneaded to form a dough.  Then she would combines\ the black sesame, oil, and sugar.  I would help stuff the dough with sesame and mine would always come out lumpy while I would look at her perfectly crafted round dough balls.  Even if she is not here to teach me how to make Tang Yuan, I still make it every Chinese New Year in memory of her.  Nai Nai may not be here, but her traditions live on.

Place(s): China, Bolivia, New York

– MC

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant