Crunch Berries

In a manner of speaking.

(Click on any image to view it in high resolution.)

These are Bingtang Hulu (aka Tanghulu): fruits, in this case strawberries and Chinese hawthorn (haw), coated with a crisp sugar shell and impaled on a bamboo skewer. The literal meaning is “sugar calabash” because its shape resembles that of a calabash, the curvy bottle gourd. Think of it as China’s answer to the candy apple.

Haw, traditionally used for these treats, is sweet, tart, tangy and crunchy-apple-firm; nowadays the options are more diverse. [Personal note: As a kid, haw flakes, dried thin discs that come in a diminutive cylindrical pack, were the second Chinese candy I tried; the first was White Rabbit, of course!]

There are a few stands in Flushing that sell these confections and, needless to say, they’re a stop on my Snacking in Flushing – The Best of the Best ethnojunket. Check it out here and sign up to join in the fun!

[And maybe we’ll even pick up some haw flake candy!]

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