Tanghulu – A popular sweet during winter


Tanghulu (糖葫芦) is a popular Chinese snack that is commonly enjoyed during the winter months. It consists of skewered fruit, typically hawthorns or Chinese mountain hawthorns, that are coated in a layer of hardened sugar syrup. The result is a sweet and slightly tart treat with a crispy outer shell and a juicy, flavorful interior.

The origins of tanghulu can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279), when street vendors began selling skewered fruit coated in sugar as a way to warm up in the cold winter months. Over time, the snack became more elaborate, with vendors experimenting with different types of fruit and flavorings.

Today, tanghulu is a beloved snack across China, with street vendors selling it in busy markets and shopping districts. It is especially popular during the Chinese New Year holiday, when families gather to celebrate and enjoy festive foods.

To make tanghulu, the fruit is first washed and then skewered on bamboo sticks. The sugar syrup is made by boiling sugar and water until it reaches the desired consistency, and then the skewered fruit is dipped in the syrup and allowed to harden. The process is repeated several times until the fruit is fully coated.

Hawthorns are the most common fruit used in tanghulu, but other fruits such as strawberries, kiwis, and grapes can also be used. Some vendors also add flavorings such as sesame seeds or crushed peanuts to the sugar syrup for added texture and flavor.

Tanghulu is not only a tasty snack, but it is also a visual delight with its vibrant colors and unique presentation. The skewered fruit is often arranged in an attractive pattern, making it a popular choice for food photography and social media posts.

Overall, tanghulu is a delicious and iconic Chinese snack that is beloved by both locals and visitors. Its sweet and tart flavor, crispy texture, and beautiful presentation make it a must-try when exploring the streets of China.

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