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Taste of Tianjin

By Wang Yuke | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-22 10:01

Taste of Tianjin

A pretty box of pastry (dianxin xiazi) is a welcome gift when visiting seniors in Tianjin.[Photo by Wang Yuke / China Daily]

But as you sink your teeth into the core, a dollop of sweet stuffing tucked away comes as a pleasant surprise. Optional flavors range from mashed dates, red beans and salty nuts to rose and hawthorn.

Dates are peeled and perfectly mashed so that the grainy flesh is hardly noticed. What you get is a thick, silky texture and an aura of dates that overwhelms your mouth and nose.

Misandao ("honey three cuts"): A timeless offering

Taste of Tianjin

It is a golden-brown irregular square coated with glistening syrup ("mi"), while three knife cuts point to "san dao".

Sticky syrup makes the clusters seem to cuddle together. Prying neighbors apart produces thready candy-floss.

In contrast to its crusty exterior, the inside is soft, fluffy and a bit moist. Its texture is similar to a muffin's, but far removed in flavor. Sesame oil dribbles out, while its intoxicating aroma consumes your senses.

Xuebing ("snowy cookie"): Sweet Tooth's Beloved

Studded with white-sugar grains, the beautiful cake's name evokes a snow-capped mountain. The exterior's crunch nicely contrasts with the mashed inner stuffing, a bonus for any voracious "sweet tooth".

Maqiu, fangsu, tanghuoshao, meiguigao and saqima are also hailed as classic temptations that Tianjin folks never tire of eating.

Nibbling at Guishunzhai delicacies of your choice while lingering over Chinese longjing green tea promises to be an unwinding and refueling afternoon tea break.

Taste of Tianjin

Taste of Tianjin

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