Yes, these are cake pans used to make the famous Nian Gao – which is made from glutinous rice. While it can be eaten all year round, traditionally it is most popular during Chinese New Year. It is considered good luck to eat nian gao during this time, because nian gao is a homonym for “higher year.” This sticky sweet snack was believed to be an offering to the Kitchen God, with the aim that his mouth will be stuck with the sticky cake, so that he can’t badmouth the human family in front of the Jade Emperor.
Legends and myths aside, how do YOU enjoy Nian Gao? I like it sandwiched between two slices of yam, which is then dipped in batter and deep fried (all this talk of food is making me hungry now)