It's no Snickers: There's little crunch in a red date and peanut zongzi ($2). When these leaf-wrapped glutinous rice dumplings are boiled, the peanuts inside hold their shape but soften considerably. As for the dates, also known as jujubes, they're picked when they have the size and firmness of crabapples and a color that may be pale green, brown, or some mottled combination of the two.
However, hongzao — red dates or, literally, red jujubes — shrivel and soften as they redden. They sweeten a bit, too, though only within the customary range of traditional Chinese desserts. And inside a boiled zongzi, they fall to pieces.
On & On Restaurant
4046 Main St. (40th Rd.-41st Ave.), Flushing, Queens