Chinese Sweets: Beyond Hard Candy

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Shell Tu

We've already tasted our way through Chinese hard candies, but what about the rest of the candy universe? Here we try out milk candy, dragon's beard candy, corn-flavored gummies, and much more.

Golden Rabbit Creamy Candy (White Rabbit)

Golden Rabbit Creamy Candy (White Rabbit)

White Rabbit is probably the most well-known Chinese candy (though they've changed their packaging recently, so they may not look familiar). Wrapped in a layer of edible rice paper that melts in your mouth, the candy is tube-shaped with an intense dairy taste that's almost like sweetened condensed milk. It's soft enough to chew easily, but definitely can get stuck on the teeth!

Pastelaria Koi Kei's Chew Peanut Candy

Pastelaria Koi Kei's Chew Peanut Candy

Not what we think of as candy in the American sense; large enough to be cut up into two pieces at least, it feels more like a small energy bar. The peanuts are chopped up coarsely and glued together with a gooey syrup; the outside is then studded with toasted black sesame. The texture is pleasantly chewy yet crunchy at the same time, thanks to the nuts and seeds; the flavors of peanut and sesame blend well together.

Golden Lion's Haw Cake

Golden Lion's Haw Cake

For $0.50, you get eight small packs with thin slices of haw cake that's about the size of a dime. If you have never had a haw before, this candy offers you a sweeter version of how the fruit should taste: it has an astringent sour flavor at first, followed by a sweet aftertaste. In terms of texture, it's meant to be chewed; the slices crumble but are fairly soft.

Wangzai's QQ Gummy Candy

Wangzai's QQ Gummy Candy

Just enough to satisfy a sugar craving, this candy usually comes in a miniature pack containing around 15 pieces—each about the size of a thumbnail and shaped like the fruit of its flavor. The gummy's texture is somewhere in between the chewier Haribo candies and softer Japanese candies. They're not particularly sweet; it's the fruit flavor that stands out.

Meiqili's Corn Jelly Candy

Meiqili's Corn Jelly Candy

Shaped something like an ear of corn, this candy doesn't quite capture the fresh sweetness of corn, instead tasting like some sort of stale grain. Though labeled as jelly candy, it's unbelievably sticky and almost impossible to pry off your teeth.

Liuhder's Black Sesame Candy

Liuhder's Black Sesame Candy

Shaped like a pillow, with a black powder of ground black sesame mixed in, this candy has a soft and silky texture and a rich sesame taste. The creamy milk element keeps it sweet, and the malt syrup adds a subtle earthy edge. You can chew this one, but we prefer to let it melt in the mouth to further appreciate the flavor.

Green Day's Ginger Candy

Green Day's Ginger Candy

Dusted with sugar, this block-shaped gummy candy gives off a faint smell of ginger. At first it is almost too hard to chew, but it softens up after a while. The ginger taste here is not particularly sharp.

Seng Yong's Milk Candy

Seng Yong's Milk Candy

With a matchbox design, the tidy package has six small cubes neatly wrapped. The milky candy also comes in red bean, black sugar, and caramel flavors, but I prefer the original. The candy clearly resembles a small chunk of toffee, and actually tastes that way, too—only less sweet.

Dragon Beard Candy

Dragon Beard Candy

Made in Hong Kong, this is the packaged version of Dragon Beard Candy you might find on the street. Dragon beard candy really is a delicate thing; toasty crushed coconut flakes and peanuts are enveloped in layers and layers of gossamer-like strands of sugar that are brittle, yet melt in the mouth instantly. The packaged version has more of a crisp than fresh ones tend to, and has more flavors in the filling. It's not a bite-size candy; be prepared to get a bit of a candy beard when eating it!