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Chinese Tray of Togetherness

- from the Chinese Cuisine Photo Gallery  -

(Photograph © copyright 2007 by Rhonda Parkinson)

Throughout the Chinese New Year season, it is customary to offer guests an assortment of treats from a Tray of Togetherness - a circular or octagonal shaped tray filled with an assortment of symbolic foods to provide a sweet beginning to the New Year. While it is possible to find togetherness trays made of expensive wood such as teak, inexpensive versions made of plastic (like the one in the photo) are readily available in Asian grocery stores throughout the New Year season. The tray has eight compartments, as the Chinese consider the number eight to be extremely lucky. 

The tray in the photo contains a variety of sugared fruit and vegetables, including winter melon, coconut, lotus seed, lotus root, water chestnut, carrot and tangerine.  

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