On the eleventh day of New Year my mama said to me
11. wafers, seeds and nuts
Love letters are one of the most popular wafers during CNY. It is eaten only during CNY as it is difficult to make. This is a peranakan snack and is also known as kueh kapek or flattened cake(wafer). There is nothing really symbolic about it except perhaps for the ingredients of rice flour and eggs (among other ingredients) and the mold with Chinese characters that the batter is poured into. Because of the tediousness in making it, this is usually only made during CNY. Its close cousin, the rolled up version, is called kueh belanda, which means Dutch cake (wafer). The origins of this recipe is believed to be from the Dutch when they occupied Indonesia who in turn introduced it into Malaya in the past. Three other snacks — kueh bangkit (made from tapioca flour), honeycomb wafers (made from corn flour) and kueh baulu also made from tapioca flour — are also commonly eaten during CNY.
Dried melon seeds, symbolic of fertility, are commonly served and eaten during CNY. These seeds are common among Chinese everywhere. The seeds are dried, packaged and sold. Some seeds have preservatives on them so that they have a longer shelf life. Some companies would say that their seeds are preservative-free as a marketing strategy, to draw customers to their presumably healthier products. I liked the white melon seeds more than the black ones as they were easier to eat.
Nuts, especially peanuts, are linked to longevity. They are usually served with their shells though many are made into peanut cookies as well. I am nuts about nuts so this is one of my favourite snacks as well.