Chemistry behind Green Rice Ball

KingDraw
Apr 1, 2024

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Dailycompounds, α-thujene, eucalyptol, and camphor

Qingtuan (Green rice balls) is a seasonal delicacy eaten during Qingming Festival, Cold Food Festival, and Ghost Festival in southern China. Made from glutinous rice mixed with wormwood juice, it features a green outer layer filled with sweet or savory fillings and steamed. The tradition dates back to the Zhou Dynasty, evolving from the practice of eating “qingjing rice” during the Cold Food Festival. Over time, the custom shifted to Qingming Festival, merging the two festivals.

The distinctive aroma of qingtuan comes from wormwood, an Asian plant known for its strong fragrance, including compounds like α-thujene, eucalyptol, and camphor.

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