Old-time Zongzi store ready for Dragon Boat Festival rush

A century-old zongzi store in Songjiang District is selling about 3,000 zongzi (glutinous rice dumpling) daily as Dragon Boat Festival approaches.

People in China eat zongzi, a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice and wrapped in reed leaves, to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival which falls on June 25 this year.

A month ahead of the holiday, the Guangli zongzi store on Jiangchuan Road N. is receiving customers who are queuing up in a continuous stream.

“All of my family members like Guangli zongzi. For years the store has produced its zongzi in the original flavor,” said a customer surnamed Ge, who bought 20 pieces of zongzi while doing grocery shopping.

Guangli zongzi, a Songjiang intangible cultural heritage item, has a unique position in the minds of people living in Sijing Town of the suburban district.

“Our zongzi sells even better this year. To ensure each customer can buy his or her portion of zongzi, we refuse to accept bulk orders,” said Wang Peihua, owner of Guangli zongzi store.

In February, TV stations introduced Guangli zongzi as the district’s intangible cultural heritage and the added fame attracted quite a few customers from downtown Shanghai and even from out-of-town places.

Female workers of the store, with years of experience, efficiently pick up a reed leaf, twist and fold it into the shape of a bucket, fill the leaf bucket with rice, finalize the shape and wrap it with strings.

Wang, though having her daughter-in-law as the store manager now, still gets up around 3am daily to prepare ingredients.

As prices of raw materials to make zongzi have risen this year, the store, having maintained the price of its zongzi unchanged for years, has adjusted its price this year. Now prices of the six kinds of zongzi sold at Guangli, namely zongzi with regular meat fillings, zongzi with fat meat fillings, salted egg yolk zongzi, red bean and jujube zongzi, sweetened bean paste zongzi and black glutinous rice and chestnut zongzi , range from 5 yuan (70 US cents) to 9 yuan each.

Address: No. 153 Jiangchuan Rd N., Sijing Town, Songjiang District

Reservation call: 150-2102-2309