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Dragon and Phoenix Golden Cake
2017-02-28Text Size: A A A

Dragon and Phoenix Golden Cake is one of the top ten Ningbo local snacks, and particularly well-known in East Zhejiang. The most famous cake is prepared by Zhao Dayou Restaurant, a well-known restaurant in Ningbo for its Ningbo local snacks and cakes.

The history of the snack dates back to the South Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Legend goes that when the Jin invaders seized the capital of the South Song Linan (present Hangzhou), Zhao Gou the emperor fled to Mingzhou (present Ningbo) and there a village girl saved his life and served him food including a cake. When Zhao Gou recaptured the capital, he repaid his savior by naming the cake he ate in his refugee "Dragon and Phoenix Golden Cake and from then on the cake has become a snack that must be served at weddings, symbolizing happiness of married life. Golden in color and with pattern of a dragon and phoenix, the cake is made of polished glutinous rice, with fillings of processed beans, sugar, orange peel, osmanthus flowers, and so on.

Shops of the gold cake were scattered here and there in the city. The most famous old brand was Zhaodayou. This brand was created by a Mr.Zhao from Shangyu. When the cake is made,   2 kilos of glutinous rice is mixed with3 kilos of stem rice, which is immersed in water for 10-14 hours depending on the temperature. Then the rice mixture is taken out from water, put into clear water again to rid the sour taste, then the rice is ground into powder. Asparagus bean or soybean is used as the filling, 0.75 kilos of the rice mixed with one kilo of sugar, other ingredient are orange cake, melon seeds, orange chips, red and green shreds. Then came the process of fry, sufficient but not to be scorched. When Mr. Zhao Dayou ran the business, he used the best materials, and was very careful in the making. He also charged reasonable price, and treated all customers well. Therefore, he became famous among the citizens. Thus Zhao Dayou became a brand, and many shops named themselves Zhao Dayou, thus we have a number of cake shops in Ningbo named Zha Dayou with a little variation.   

The gold cake is an auspicious symbol, symbolizing happiness and reunion, mostly served in ceremonious occasions, such as weddings, birthday parties, etc.

Among different varieties of Zhao Dayou gold cakes, Dragon and Phoenix cakes are most popular. It is shaped like a moon, and yellow in color as gold, with reliefs of Dragon and Phoenix on the front, symbolizing reunion and auspiciousness. It has thin outer layer and rich filling, with fragrant and pleasant flavor, and appealing to whoever tries it.  



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