Yes, it turns out it was. We took part in the annual zongzi making championships, where a local zongzi champ and a foreigner get partnered up and it's a 'zongzi off' to see whose sweet little packages the judges like the best. For those unaccustomed with zongzi, they are: "an essential food of the Dragon Boat Festival. In early times, it was only glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in reed or other plant leaves and tied with coloured thread, but now the filings are more diversified, including jujube and bean paste, fresh meat, and ham and egg yolk". Luckily they kept it fairly 'simple' for us I guess, as we stuck to just two fillings: rice and a small dried fruit (zongzi) or two in the centre.
It was a pretty intense competition, and those zongzi are fiddley little buggers to tie up with string! Especially when there's a camera or 10 in your face, capturing your awkward and fumbley attempts. We can't have done too badly though, as me and the lovely zongzi champ who I was lucky enough to be partnered with (team 12 pictured above) came in first place! This was quite a shock to me, as I was pretty sure mine were fairly inferior, sub-standard zongzi, but there you go. Woohoo! So, as Husband pointed out, I am now the 6th Zongzi Foreign Champion for Yiwu (our city here in China) so I'm quite stoked about that. Husband did awesomely too (better than me, I thought), so I'm surprised he didn't get first, second or third place himself. However, we both got some excellent certificates, a cash prize each (one for taking part and one for winning first place), and some tasty lunch, along with a great morning of bizarre zongzi making fun with some wonderful, warm, friendly people.
Here are some pictures of the event to give you a better idea:
Ever eat zongzi? Have you ever taken part in a food contest? Either making food or eating food?