Some of my Chinese colleagues informed me last week that this is the time for the Dragon Boat Festival and it's traditional to have zongzi, sticky rice and other fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves. And when I got takeout from the Taiwan Deli yesterday, indeed they had a pile of zongzi.
Apparently, the Dragon Boat Festival is pretty serious business in Asia, even a three-day holiday in China, but like many aspects of traditional Chinese culture, this is the first I've heard of it, and when I mentioned it to my dad, he had to check the (lunar) calendar to verify that it's happening now.
I did have zongzi once, but only because I saw it in a dim sum restaurant labeled "Chinese tamales" (common nomenclature in, not surprisingly, California and Texas) and felt I should investigate it for addition to my dim sum app. My reaction was that I prefer the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, a common dim sum item, a lot more.
But maybe taste isn't the point, as legend has it that zongzi were thrown into a river to feed the fish and keep them from nibbling on a poet who drowned himself as a form of protest.
So I probably won't buy anymore zongzi, but the deli does have bags of frozen dumplings I might stock up on. There's a risk in buying a bag of fifty dumplings that I might not like, but worse case, I can feed the fish.