Friday, July 23, 2010

And the noms go to....

I have a long blog post about selling on Etsy that I've been percolating for days, but it's not ready for public consumption yet. And really, that rant should be saved for another day. I've got much more pressing and pleasant things to do tonight. Specifically, I need to announce that Emily N. is the recipient of the latest Ice Cream Social!

Myself, I'm not having ice cream tonight. Instead, I'm valiantly refraining from eating an entire bag of tanghulu which my brother brought us from Shanghai.

These tanghulu are preserved haw as opposed to fresh, in a candied sugar shell. Some have sesame seeds or pine nuts or peanuts, and some are plain. They've gotten sticky with humidity, but are still delicious. It just means they want to cling to my teeth and get all over my fingers.

I've had haw candies before, I grew up eating haw flakes, and was always annoyed when the last one stuck to the paper. And more recently I've had fruit leather made from haw, which is chewy and delicious. The first time I had tanghulu was this spring when a cousin brought us a mixed bag of candies. I had one little packet of 2 and was hooked. And then I couldn't find them anywhere on the internet to order.

And this is why I'm resisting eating the whole bag in one sitting. They're very sweet and satisfying, chewy and fruity tangy without tasting quite like anything else. I think the closest I can get to describing the flavor is a cross between apple leather and cooked jujube. The texture of the preserved fruit is soft and sticky, a little bit like almond paste but more delicate and not as dense or syrupy.

Aside from the large quantity of sugar, the hawthorn fruit itself isn't particularly bad for one. But dipping it into a thick shell of sugar isn't exactly great for my teeth or my metabolism. And while they're not big, they're not small either. So I'm trying to spread them out. We'll see how that goes....

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