The Fragrant and Sweet Oil-tea
Oil-tea is a traditional food of The Dong people, popular in Dong areas of Guigou and Guangxi Provinces. It is a daily and festival food, made from tea, tea oil, parched rice and peanuts, through parching, frying and boiling.
The production of oil-tea has its own procedure. Firstly, fry cooked and dried sticky rice in tea oil (edible oil pressed from tea seeds) into fried rice; secondly, stir-fry such condiments as peanuts and soybeans; thirdly, parch some sticky rice till it is a little burnt and, adding some tea leaves, parch a few strokes, pour in warm water and cook it to boiling. Here we have oil-tea water. When the dinner is served, put some chipped shallot, crown daisy, and spinach into the bowl; pour in oil-tea water; also add fried rice, peanuts, soybeans, muscle, pig liver, pig large intestine, etc. Some would boil round dumplings with sticky rice powder in the oil-tea. Thus is produced the oil-tea, which is nice-looking, sweet-smelling and good tasting.
There are many kinds of Dong oil-tea, like lima-bean tea, red pea tea, white pea tea, etc. The host and guests all sit around a table or the caldron or stove. The hostess does the cooking job. The first bowl of oil-tea is devoted to the oldest or the guest, to show reverence, then from guests to the family members. The one who has got a bowl should not hurry to drink alone, but put it in front, until the host says "Please", and then all raise their bowls at the same time. Only one chopstick is needed, and every guest should drink at least three bowls, otherwise he or she would be considered as not respectful. If you want no more after three bowls, you have to put your chopstick on you bowl, as a sign of enough. Otherwise, the hostess will fill your bowl incessantly, letting you enjoy it until you feel content.
Oil-tea is sweet and fragrant, not only refreshing, but also keeping our more healthy. Whenever guests come far away, the hospitable Dong people will welcome them warmly with oil-tea.
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