Welcome the Year of the Horse with a citrusy kick that not only delivers good flavor but promises good fortune.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, kumquats and pomelos are traditional for the Lunar New Year, which begins Friday. They are used for decoration, given as gifts or snacked on. But cookbook author Grace Young says citrus fruit also has its place in cooking, particularly now when everyone is focused on new beginnings.
“We’re watching our weight,” says the author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. “We want to eat healthily, and it’s good to have that hit of vitamin C. I think, for a stir-fry, oranges are beautiful.”
Oranges are rich in symbolism, says Terese Tse Bartholomew, curator emeritus of Himalayan art and Chinese decorative art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and author of the book Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art.
“It’s the color,” says Bartholomew. “It’s the color of gold. People want the new year to bring them money. Have you heard the Cantonese new year greeting? ‘May you explode in wealth.’ People must have these wealth-giving things.”
You should have luck finding citrus, of course, because this is peak season.