We often talk about all products we want to export to China. Despite tastes and flavours differences, it would be a shame to ignore how much China likes delicious snacks, a very lucrative business for international companies and they truly enjoy once they taste it. Exit the classic shrimp chips or the fried Youtiao donuts : today, discover unknown treasures that deserve to be taken seriously.
Let’s start munching on this tasty list of the 7 finest Chinese snacks
Snack industry in China has been growing at a steady pace of approximately 15% annual growth. It’s worth was more than 200 billion RMB in 2011, and it’s estimated to be worth 500 billion by 2019.
1 – The rose cake
These cupcakes are handmade and come from Yunnan Province. This round biscuit is made of a puffed rice paste that crumbles and stuffed with a rose (yes, a whole flower!). When consumed, the rose is a flower known to give beautiful skin complexion. When cooked inside the biscuit, it takes a texture close to the fruit jelly. The rose cake is devoid of sugar, which made a very healthy snack. There is also a version of this biscuit stuffed with sesame paste.
2 – The Mahua
Not to be confused with Youtiao fried donuts that are soft and oily, Mahua are very crisp twisted donuts. They’re been sold all year round in any Chinese supermarket, even if the homemade taste is always better if you have the chance to try it so. The largest company to market Mahua is the Guifaxiang food brand, whose factory is located in Tianjin.
3 – Black sugar cube with ginger
Another marvel of Yunnan craftsmanship : squares of dark-brown sugar with ginger spice to melt in hot water for an infusion. Very popular among Chinese women, they indeed have the great power to calm stomach pain during menstruation. Black tea has a pleasant taste halfway between sweet tea and coffee, which some call hazelnut. There are variants of black sugar squares with flower petals, but if you are looking for efficiency to fight your pains, prefer the traditional spice recipe.
4 – Spicy dried meat floss bread
Dried pig crumbs are a traditional Sichuan dish called meat floss. It is easy to find bread rolls covered with dried and spicy meat crumbs at the Singapore chain BreadTalk, or at its South Korean competitors Tous les Jours and Paris Baguette.
5 – Buckwheat tea
The reputation of Chinese teas is well established: Yunnan Pu’er, Hangzhou Long Jing, Fujian’s Pai Mu Tan … Yet it is a tea that is very little known to Westerners : grilled buckwheat tea called ‘Ku Qiao Cha’ by the Chinese and ‘Soba Cha’ by the Japanese, who dispute their kinship. Again, this brew is imported from Yunnan from Chinese’s side. The advantage of that beverage ? Unlike other teas, it does not contain theine. Buckwheat is also gluten intolerant friendly and has detoxifying virtues, so to said the ideal tea to drink all day.
6 – Dried jujubes with nuts
Dried jujubes stuffed with walnuts sounds like a familiar dish in South Europe, where you also find stuffed dried dates with almond paste and walnuts. In China this snack is bought everywhere in supermarkets, it is found in the form of sachets in the radius of dried fruits. The combination is crispy and sweet without containing added sugar. It is said that jujubes are excellent for the proper functioning of the body, and nuts are excellent for the heart. Three good reasons to adopt it!
7 – Bingtanghulu
More famous to European tourists than previous snacks on this list, Bingtanghulu are hawthorn berries skewers with icing sugar. They are widespread throughout northern China. They are sold in street shops and tourist places. Only drawback : you need to spit the rain of seeds contained in these small red fruits. But it’s worth it!
Why shall you market snack foods in China?
Because Chinese people are looking for a healthy lifestyle and are turning more and more towards alternative diets : organic, gluten-free … In this part, China is a champion : its cooking is called medicinal as much as the search for virtues for health is central in food consumption. There are indeed many Chinese dishes to cure some ailments and to prevent the occurrence of other ailments. The benefits of exotic foods bring the Europeans curiosity for decades, but many recipes still remain largely unknown to the general public.
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