Wednesday, May 9, 2012

dragon beard candy 龍鬚糖 cuz i like my candy wispy

i love awkward translations of things. especially the asian ones into english...or how about this one?! not asian, but still awkward, right??

it's a real disservice to the original language because the wording probably sounded pretty rad before its massacre into english (literally). take this 龍鬚糖 (lóng​ xū​ táng) or dragon beard/whisker candy. in chinese, the wording connotes images of strong, majestic dragons with long flowy candy form. so purty, so delicate. but in english, you just think, wtf?? candy whiskers?! candy beards?! what is this edible hair follicle that you speak of? can it even be tasty?

when i saw edythe's tweet about dragon whiskers/ beard candy at the hawaii supermarket in the sgv, i got so excited that i almost peed in my pants. my last taste of this unique chinese candy was about 20+ years ago and never once did i run across it again till now.

not only is this a tasty concoction, it is also steeped in ancient chinese traditions, a confection served only to the chinese emperor and his court back in the days. the fine hair-like strands are created by constant pulling, stretching, folding of a sugary "dough" made of maltose, sugar, corn syrup, or in this case, honey. i liken it to savory hand pulled noodles, but of course this is a more delicate, sweet version. normally, the strands harden after a day, but the addition of honey keeps this candy soft.

alex goh practiced the art of dragon beard/whiskers candy making for over 20+ years. he might even look familiar to you if went to that night market fiasco in pasadena not too long ago.




the strands double up in minutes.

a sweet beard indeed.

then he pulled off sections of the dragon beard and filled each piece with loose chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, and/or toasted coconut.

he carefully folds the "beard" over its peanut innards.

a sweet, silky looking cocoon is the result of all that labor!

for $5, you get a box of 8. although they are on the "smaller" side and not as sweet as i remembered, i do appreciate rediscovering them again. it is just a unique candy with an interesting history and totally worth a try especially due to its rarity. if you want your fix of some sweet hair follicles, alex is at the hawaii supermarket in san gabriel during the weekends. thanks again edythe for the lead!

Alex Goh
Dragon Whiskers Candy
(919) 597-9325

Hawaii Supermarket
120 E. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 307-0062

price: $
verdict: tasty, try it!
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