GEORGE TOWN - Even the tang yuan (glutinous rice balls), a popular dessert during the Winter Solstice celebration, has moved with the times.
One restaurant here has added 13 special tang yuan flavours on its menu, besides offering the basic ingredients.
"The special flavours are the ones where we mix several items in a bowl with the tang yuan.
"For example, the popular ones in our shop now are 'Mandarin Rose Milk Chocolate Tang Yuan' or 'White Fungus Egg in Milk Green Tea Tang Yuan'," said the owner of All About Sugar & Gift, who only wants to be known as Melissa.
Melissa, said the basic flavours included glutinous rice balls with fillings such as cheese, tiramisu, green tea, lotus seed, durian, wolfberry and Chinese angelica root, golden corn, chrysanthemum and white coffee.
In an interview yesterday, she said the other popular flavours included black sesame, salted and sweet lotus.
She said rice balls served in the restaurant were available in six colours - pink, blue, green, orange, white and yellow.
They are served in syrup flavoured with ginger.
"But customers can now choose tang yuan to be served in either milk, brown sugar or white sugar syrup," she said.
Melissa also said it took about five minutes to make a bowl of tang yuan with eight glutinous balls. The dessert is made during the Winter Solstice, which marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
It is celebrated on Dec 22 this year.