Food and drinks are an important part of many people’s cultural and ethnic heritages and play a major role in traditions, including holidays and celebrations. Reflecting on traditional food or drinks you often had growing up can bring insight into your culture and background. As an Asian American-owned small business, our menu is inspired by our Taiwanese and Chinese backgrounds. For example, boba tea for many Taiwanese individuals is a staple and is more popular than coffee. Tea often symbolizes communal gathering and is enjoyed in the company of others.
Celebrations of 春節 (Chūn Jié) - “Spring Festival” or Lunar New Year - in China and Taiwan are often filled with red envelopes for the children, dumplings, noodles, fish, tea, and more! Red lanterns and paper hangings fill homes and businesses. For many immigrants and children of immigrants, however, it can be difficult to know how to celebrate holidays. This is especially the case when living away from family.
After being away from our family for quite a few years in college and as young adults in Waco, we weren’t quite sure how to go about celebrating Lunar New Year. However, with the support of our team and the encouragement of friends, we began celebrating Lunar New Year again in 2021 through red envelopes gifted to our Cha Community guests and decorations throughout our downtown Waco storefront. One way we sought to continue this tradition was to explore new ways to celebrate with our community - even when away from family.
We also began making delicious Chinese and Taiwanese-style foods - including dumplings! - during Lunar New Year at home to celebrate and to enjoy. Enjoying familiar flavors and family recipes through food has helped us to reconnect with our roots and to continue honoring the traditions and legacy of our culture.
See below for a simple vegetable side dish recipe from our CEO Devin Li that pairs perfectly with our at-home dumpling kits or frozen dumplings! We have also included a Conversation Guide on cultural holidays or traditions!